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11:13 PM
I guess I've had Community Manager as my title for about four and a half years now. I didn't know what it meant then, and I know only slightly more now. I was hired to write meta posts, and shortly thereafter a bunch of other stuff that I was no more qualified to do... But which lacked, at the time, anyone else able or willing to try.
Four+ years in, I can't really say I'm much better at it. More experienced, with more stories to tell, but hardly skilled.
Still, poking around on the 'Net I find real professional CMs are often in hardly any better a position.
It is a job that should consist mostly of listening to the people using your software, but often ends up being a Benny Hill routine of alternately chasing and being chased by them.
2
My twitter feed occasionally blooms with advertisements for services that purport to allow you to "listen to your community"; somewhere between stalking tools and a glorified Google Alerts interface, they represent a profound disconnect between the people making software and the people using it.
One dedicated CM works until the wee hours of the morning responding to Facebook messages from people they know nothing about; another pleads with users griping on Twitter to DM account details so that their issues can be resolved (and presumably the stream of bad PR stemmed).
2
A more proactive CM writes blog posts for an audience they hope may some day read it. There are no comments; that would be too optimistic...
...and besides, if anyone does have something to say about it, they'll say it on Facebook or Twitter. Which is where it'll be announced and promoted and hopefully found before sinking beneath the waves.
 
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