It’s the forum life, for us...

    • Hadi
      Hadi
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.08.2009 Posts: 12,303
      Or: What it's like to be a community manager

      While many of you have most likely heard the description “community manager” quite often and also know that we’re usually the guys hanging out around the forums, I want to give you a more detailed insight into what working as a CM is like.


      It's under this premise that I want to introduce you a bit into the workings behind the scenes - maybe I'll drop in a private piece or two :)

      Entries:
      13.09.2010 - It's the forum life, for us
      ...to infinity and beyond!
  • 5 replies
    • Hadi
      Hadi
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.08.2009 Posts: 12,303
      What it's like to be a community manager

      While many of you have most likely heard the description “community manager” quite often and also know that we’re usually the guys hanging out around the forums, I want to give you a more detailed insight into what working as a CM is like.

      When I first started as CM in 2007, I’d had administrated a rather large forum before, so some knowledge was already there, but for the most part, it was about understanding online dynamics. I believe everyone who has seen comments on youtube can attest to the fact that people behave differently when they’re on the internet and one needs to realize that, in order to manage a community, you have to be part of that very community.

      And this is where the tricky part begins: As CM, I am the link between the community and the company – so where do I place myself? Am I the voice of the community, directing their feedback to the company? Or am I the voice of the company, directing information to the community? I’d say the answer is both. It’s a job that mostly requires staying on that thin line between solely aligning yourself with the community and solely aligning yourself with the company.

      There are times when you’re tempted to cross that line – such as with a user suggestion that you find so awesome that you want it to be realized, no matter what. Or when user ask the same question for the umpteenth time. But it gets even more complex: It’s easy to see a community as a homogenous mass, but in reality it’s quite the contrary. And while there might be sub-communities to be found, you can’t put users into a simple pattern, because in the end, every user is an individual with own ideas, preferences and dislikes. And you do your best trying to catch the overall mood of the community, talking to individuals to get insight into their thoughts and monitoring the forums to get the bigger picture.

      The imagery of a double edged sword is a constant companion as a CM – but that’s the beauty of it: Íf you’re doing a bad job, people will let you know. If you’re doing a good job, they will let you know, too – even if it’s not quite as often ;)

      But to me, it’s fulfilling to know that whatever I’m doing in my role, I’m always working towards improving my community – and there’s no better gratification than seeing that community grow and flourish.
    • conall88
      conall88
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      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 1,715
      i was a forum moderator on a gambling forum before. its a lot more work than people expect! :spade:
    • EagleStar88
      EagleStar88
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      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Originally posted by conall88
      i was a forum moderator on a gambling forum before. its a lot more work than people expect! :spade:
      You're right conall88, but it can also be fun & rewarding too. You get to speak to people like Hadi most days, so what more could anyone want? :D

      Loving the insight Hadi, keep em coming.


      Bart
    • matel17
      matel17
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      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 1,278
      Cool thread :)
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
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      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Nice one Hadi my man!