Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Traits of a community Manager

I came across this article on Mashable a few weeks ago about the traits of a good community manager. Granted this article is concerned more with commerce rather than academia, however I do think that the traits do translate one-to-one in academia.

I encourage people to go to mashable and read the article. Here are a few of my thoughts on it.

1. Love your job

Well this is a d'uh for almost any job (otherwise you will be a miserable sob hehehe). I found the comment that a community manager should be very approachable quite pertinent. Community managers are the community's front face, the maitre D' in a sense and if you don't like the snooty Maitre D' in this restaurant you will probably go somewhere else.

2. Empower the community and promote others (as well as self).

This quite important in a community of practice. People are veritable fountains of knowledge, they just don't know it. Encouraging people to participate unlocks that knowledge for the benefit of the community. What I know, you might not - thus if I share you gain (and as some of my professors have said: if you have a question, chances are that someone else does too!)

3. Extensive knowledge about the company

This is really important. In academia it's also really important to be very familiar with school procedures and be a subject matter expert as well in order to run a community of practice. Just being the IT guy helping people log in isn't going to cut it. The subject matter expert will help people navigate the campus bureaucracy, give them accurate information, and know enough about the subject matter to find resources for the community, participate in the community and spark conversation and debate.
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