With the growing recognition that community management is a specialized field requiring specialized skills, some organizations have launched certification programs for community managers. One of the more notable examples is the Community Management Certificate program developed by the Community Roundtable, WOMMA and ComBlu. Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang writes that these certification programs are valuable, but adds “real-world experience is the most important teacher of all.” This post also includes some great advice for companies that are hiring community managers.
People participate in online communities because they share a common interest. The stronger that common interest, the more likely the community will succeed. Richard Millington writes that if you want to launch a community around a topic, make sure people have expressed an interest in that topic by actually talking about it –online or off.
If you build an online community just because you think you need to, you will fail. Online communities are business tools like any other — they are a means to an end. Edward Ford reminds us of the steps any business needs to consider before launching a community: Identify what you’re trying to accomplish, then figure out how a community can help you get there.
Anybody looking to hire a community manager would do well to read through this post by Patrick O’Keefe. Patrick stresses experience, but also comes up with a list of 14 things to look for in a candidate. These include a passion for community, strong communication skills, and technical savvy.
In an online community where expertise and knowledge is shared, participants can be forced into two groups: experts and newbies. It’s great when experts share their knowledge with newbies, but what about those that are more knowlegable than newbies but don’t consider themselves experts? Mack Collier writes that community managers must make everybody feels comfortable participating.
Is there a community management blog post you think I should have included in this list? Please let me know about it with a comment below.
Photo credit: Sandra Regina