Who has been an inspiration for you as a community manager?
One of my all-time heroes of community management actually passed away last year; his name was Imad Naffa, and he founded the Building Codes Discussion Group. The community is still going strong, even after his passing, because he built such a strong foundation. Imad was a fearless experimenter, a great sharer, and very savvy—characteristics I look for in a community manager.
What is the most important part of being a community manager?
Being able to walk that fine line between psychologist, leader, technologist, and evangelist; in other words, the ability to balance!
What is your favorite book that has helped you become a better community manager?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy—it showcases courage, wit, camaraderie, and the triumph of good over evil!
What do you like best about being a community manager?
I am a total, full-on, people person, in real life and online. Having the privilege of doing this as part of my job is just icing on the cake.
What skill should every community manager have?
Every community manager must have the ability to step back and have perspective. You can never have an effective community manager who “goes off half cocked.”
Tell us about a success story you’ve had as a community manager.
I was really proud the time I saw our community rally to send care packages to fellow community members after Hurricane Katrina. At that moment, I realized that the term “online community” has no meaning. Community is community, period.
What advice would you give someone wanting to become a community manager?
Start your own community, in a niche you are passionate about. Get in the trenches and get your hands dirty. If you don’t want to run a community at first, join a great community and become a great contributor. There’s no substitute for actual experience within a community.
Tell us about a job that helped prepare you to become a community manager and why.
I was thrown into community management back in 1998 when we started our first support community! My prior jobs were in corporate marketing, which can help if you’re running a branded community. Knowing about messaging, customer service, and communication skills definitely gave me a strong foundation, but I think that you are either born to be a community manager or not!
Would you like to be featured as Community Manager of the Day?
Be featured as the Community Manager of the Day on mycmgr.com and get your very own badge to show off your achievement on your own site.
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