As the community manager at ArenaNet who specalises in social media, I recently produced (read: planned and organised) a Q&A on reddit between the reddit community and members of our design team. In the reddit community, it’s called an AMA (Ask me Anything). As I write this post, my colleagues are still on reddit, almost 10 hours later, still answering questions! You can check out their responses to the reddit community here. Our company is passionate about community management, as are the actual community managers that work there.
In a rare occurrence, a question popped up on the AMA about community management and how people get into this gig. You can read my full answer there. Summary of answer: at the moment, there isn’t a standard route into community management, but at ArenaNet, what all of our community managers have in common is that we were all involved in online communities as a passionate hobby before getting paid gigs as community managers.
As I mentioned on reddit, I wanted to share the blogs on community management I currently read, though instead of tweeting them, I decided to put them in a blog post. Here’s that list and a few comments:
- Eating Bees – Sanya Weathers is a well-respected and veteran games industry community manager. I really enjoy her blunt and upfront style. She is one of the few community managers in the videogame industry who writes a lot about community management. I don’t always necessarily agree with her approaches to community management, but her posts usually make me think.
- Certainly Social - Ryan Arndt was the community manager for the International Game Developers Association and now he’s a community manager for an indie game developer. This one’s a new one to my reading list, but I think Ryan and I have similar philosophies about community management so I’m interesting in reading more from him.
- Online Community Strategist – This blog is written by Angela Connor. I like this blog because Angela is one of the few community managers who not only talks about the fun parts of community management, but also the not-so-fun parts.
- Connie Bensen – Connie Bensen is a community manager at Dell. Her posting has slowed down ever since she started at Dell, but the archives are well worth looking through, and I stay subscribed to her blog because I think what she has to say about community management makes a lot of sense.
- Community Guy – Jake McKee used to be a global community manager at LEGO. I also find his thoughts on community management to be useful. Like Connie, Jake’s posting volume has decreased a bit over the past year or so, but I continue to keep his blog on my reader because I find his thoughts on community management to be worthwhile reading.
- The Metaverse Mod Squad Blog – Metaverse Mod Squad is a firm that provides outsourced forum moderation and community management services to other companies. The reason I include them in my reading list is because they often publish a lot of good posts about community management in general, and they don’t just talk about their company.
- Blaise Grimes-Viort – Blaise Grimes-Viort is a community manager at eModeration, another outsorced moderation company. Blaise does frequent community management link round-ups which I find very useful for discovering new community management blogs or keeping up with current conversation amongst community managers.
So there you have it. There are a ton of other community management blogs out there, and a few others I’m putting on a trial run, but the ones above are blogs that have given me a lot of value. I encourage you to look beyond this list to see if there are more out there that you think provide value to you.
Something to note about community management is that it’s a “hot” job right now. There seem to be a lot of social media and community “gurus” who have little to no understanding of community management or social media management, professing expertise where none appears to exist. Once you start reading more extensively, you should be able to spot those social media and community “gurus” and “experts” easily.
Hope that helps, and if you’d like to have further conversations about community management, you can contact me here.