Who has been an inspiration for you as a community manager?
All the community members I have ever had the chance to interact with over the past five years. I have had the honor to manage communities consisting of very involved and passionate members (health and fitness, sports) and they provide enough inspiration to keep me motivated each and every day.
What is the most important part of being a community manager?
Bridging connections and creating a sense of belonging. That is how communities (online and offline) have thrived throughout history.
If you could attend one conference to learn about community management, what would it be and why?
Probably E2 in Boston this coming June. Even if it is a trip just to see Rachel Happe speak makes it worth it.
What is your favorite book that has helped you become a better community manager?
I recommend all community managers read Peter Block’s “Community: The Structure of Belonging”. It takes an offline approach to communities, but the lessons are so deep at the core that ALL community managers, including us online, can benefit. When you start reading it, it will focus on things like neighborhoods and such, but hang with it… the lessons are great.
What do you like best about being a community manager?
Connecting individuals who possibly would have never met and you get to build the place where that happens daily.
What skill should every community manager have?
Understanding human behavior.
Tell us about a success story you’ve had as a community manager.
Built Life Time Fitness’ online community from zero members to over a half a million in three years and still creating personal connections along the way.
What advice would you give someone wanting to become a community manager?
Diversify your skill set. Understand social. Understand community tools. Understand content. Etc., etc. Be a mile wide and an inch deep in your skills, because as a community manager, you will need to wear many different hats on a daily basis.
Tell us about a job that helped prepare you to become a community manager and why.
I was a community moderator, and then later a community manager, for an online site focused on the popular Madden football video game. It was a hobby to start, but little did I know it would teach me some valuable community management lessons and ultimately get me to where I am today.
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