This past Friday, like we do every Friday at 1pm CST, we had our Community Manager Hangout on Google+. It was our first week with a topic of discussion. Hangouts are much different than Twitter chats in that only 10 people can be involved at one time and you can’t all talk over each other or no one would understand what was being said. The topic we discussed for the hour was “Learning” Being community managers, many have not sought out the position but rather found themselves evolving into it. And while community managers have been around for 10-15 years (possibly longer), the growth of social media has made it a much more common position, still without any formal education or organization to help continue advancing the position. So with myself, Jenny Weigle, David DeWald, Rosemary O’Neill, and Joshua Frank, we began by asking what books have made an impact in our roles of community management either when we started or recently. Here is the list we came up with:
UnMarketing by Scott Stratten (suggested by Jenny Weigle)
The NOW Revolution by Amber Naslund and Jay Baer (suggested by Jenny Weigle)
Smart Business: How Knowledge Communities Can Revolutionize Your Business by Dr. Jim Botkin (suggested by David DeWald)
LINKED The New Science of Networks by Albert-laszlo Barabasi (suggested by David DeWald)
Trust Agents by Chris Brogan (suggested by Tim McDonald)
Customers.com by Patricia B. Seybold (suggested by Rosemary O’Neill)
Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel (suggested by Rosemary O’Neill)
We then went on to discuss what blogs or sites we turn to for insights and tips on community management. Let’s just say, community managers seem to be huge consumers content! There were too many sources to list, but reach out to any of them to see if they’ll share what they have in their RSS feeds.
It then came down to people that had an influence, or still do, on us as community managers. Names that came up were: Donna Prior, Gini Dietrich and Spin Sucks, Rich Dematteo and Corn on the Job, Amber Naslund and the community managers at Radian6, and Todd Carpenter, who was one the original founders of REBarCamp and is now with the National Association of Realtors.
When it came to conferences, courses and classes, the conversation was more about how community managers seemed much more organized in Europe. Perhaps due to the geographic proximity that we don’t have here in the USA. The WOMMA-Community Roundtable community manager certification program was recently started and Jenny Weigel is in the process of attending. Seemed to be geared more toward beginning community managers on the enterprise level. Useful Social Media, the Social Media Strategies Summit, and SocialSlam were all brought up as conferences people had attended, knew someone who attended or were looking forward to attending. Of course the Community Manager UNconference in Chicago on February 24, was talked about too (My Community Manager is sponsoring and organizing the event).
What books have you read?
Who do you look to as a mentor?
Which blogs do you subscribe to?
What conferences or courses have you learned from?
Share your thoughts and be sure to join us next Friday for the weekly Community Manager Google Hangout!