Community Manager

I’ve spent a good amount of time this week looking into the roles of Web Strategist and Community Manager and the one thing that I can say I’ve learned without any doubt is that the responsibilities that fall within these roles seem to be as varied as the companies that staff them.

For instance:

Some companies seem to staff the community manager as an entry level position, with little more to do than write for a blog or moderate a forum.

Other companies (seemingly the ones that get ‘it’) offer this as a senior management role with salaries rising well beyond the 100k mark (although the average seems to be in the 80k neighbourhood) and including a broad range of roles and responsibilities.

Currently we don’t staff for a community manager at 1ShoppingCart; we have a few people carrying out what I would consider to be community manager tasks like monitoring external forums and I personally watch our brand across multiple channels (like Twitter and Facebook); but these aren’t our primary roles.

I read somewhere today (and I can’t find my reference note at the moment unfortunately, I think it was from a Gartner report, but will update my post when I do find it) that 60%+ of all Fortune 1000 companies will be fostering online communities by 2010.  So do we need a standardization of the Community Manager role?

This is a topic I will be delving into a little deeper in the coming weeks, and I hope you’ll join me by adding your own feedback in the comments section (I know there are people reading my blog that know more about this than I do!)

For now, I thought a good way to get the ball rolling would be to break down what the role/roles looked like, from a responsibilities POV.  Click the image below to open a mindmap I’ve created and be sure to share your thoughts & corrections! Thanks!

> click for full-sized image <

FYI the mindmap is an aggregation of dozens of sources (esp. blog posts & job postings), as well as the culmination of my thoughts over the past year.

For more information on the subject (and I will be compiling more resources as I identify them) the two single best sources of information on Community Management that I can recommend are Connie Bensen and Jeremiah Owyang (both of whom I’ve also been following on Twitter for ages)

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