What do community managers, you know, do?

Summary:One of the questions I get most often is "what does a community manager do"? As a growing field (in as much as any field is growing these days...

One of the questions I get most often is "what does a community manager do"? As a growing field (in as much as any field is growing these days...), there's a fair amount of interest in what community managers do.

Dawn Foster has a great post on this topic over on WebWorkerDaily, though she's specifically addressing online community managers. According to Foster, the key responsibilities fall into facilitation, creating content, evangelism, and evolution:

Evolution. Topics of conversation change, software changes, and people change, which all requires changes to your online community. This is the strategic piece where you get to think about what the community should look like in one year or five years and make changes to the community to make sure that you achieve your goals for the community.

I'd add a couple of things here:

Communication: A big part of any community manager's job is communicating with different parties and trying to get them communicating effectively. She sort of touches on this with facilitation, but I'd put this in a category of its own. This might sound basic, but it's a vital part of the job. A touch of conflict resolution goes here as well.

Everything else: It's been my experience that a community manager handles a lot of things -- like show planning, budgeting, purchasing, and even recruiting sponsors.

Topics: CXO, IT Employment

About

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is the community manager for openSUSE, a community Linux distro sponsored by Novell. Prior to joining Novell, Brockmeier worked as a technology journalist primarily covering the Linux and FOSS beat, and wrote for a number of publications, such as Linux Magazine, Linux.com, Sys Admin, UnixReview.com, IBM developer... Full Bio

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.