Managing a +21K members Facebook wall (pt 2)


community_managementWHAT IS COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT?

Community Management is surely the biggest buzz of this century. It’s the new talk of the cybertown. A new department created within web-related businesses, along with the powering up of Social Media and Networks.

Describing Community Management would imply writing at least a thousand pages about the art and techniques of driving a group of people, within one or more virtual networks, towards a common objective, respective of common interests. To make it simpler, it’s about governing, policing and motivating groups. In the broader picture, it would be about legislating and enforcing.

Thanks to some technological revolutions like Instant Messaging, Web 2.0, Open Source, Creative Commons licensing and Mobile Networking, people around the globe have managed to quickly build self-regulated groups within a complex intertwinement of networks. They now interact in such a way, that they have fundamentally transformed the mode of exchanging knowledge and doing business. This is how a new Social Isotope has spawned. The face of the world has changed forever and so with it, the role of moderators of the old-fashion but still efficient Bulletin Boards, Fora or Chat rooms. As you might have felt, one no more gets kicked off a network but is encouraged towards building a new group or blogging about his niche.

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT FOR CAUSES

Causes are, on the Web, among the biggest community pullers, because they simply appeal to individual sensibilities and as such, attract curious, scepticals and critics. We are no more in a configuration where unanimity, around fixed brand values, is the unique leverage used to pull disciples into a fan group or community.  This is why brands will prefer using Facebook Fan Pages to Community or Group pages. Communication on Facebook Fan pages are channeled through a unique funnel, whereas on Group pages discussions are meant to reach everybody while managing individual feelings.

If Community Management is about developing, facilitating and nurturing relationships between people having the same interests or objectives, managing a community for a cause takes the challenge to even higher grounds. It becomes a multitasking activity that covers monitoring, supporting and listening to each and every individual making up the group, while dealing with the groups’ e-reputation. It includes the functions of content generator and developer, discussion initiator and hosting, with enhanced online presence and stature. And all this, like for the Sep 10’s Port Louis Protest March, has to be made to link with issues and events of the real world or else the cause would be worthless.

WHO CAN BE A COMMUNITY MANAGER FOR A CAUSE?

Almost anyone can become a Community Manager as long as he can develop content, initiate and lead discussions, act as an enforcer and most of all show diplomacy while having a firm, stoic composure before members, especially before flamers and trolls. In fact the job doesn’t need to have specific professional or academic capabilities. It’s all about being social and a reactive observant, while accepting the load of being accountable to the laws of the land.

Part 3 at 12:00, Fri 07 Oct 2011…

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