I was over at Fast Wonder today, and Dawn has a great list of roles for a community manager to play. I find it interesting how languages of different groups play a part in how we describe things. I agree with her role descriptions as things we need in community, with my background, however, I describe them differently or focus on different concerns.
She specifically mentions: ongoing facilitation, content creation, evangelism, and community evolution.
I replied to her post:
Wonderful role descriptions. I also find it critical that the manager model the behavior you want in the community. An effective community manager understands the boundaries of that specific community and will take fire to defend those boundaries.
And a piece of evangelism and facilitation is letting people know where opportunities for connection areâ€“which I think you are calling cat herding. Good â€œNetwork Weavingâ€ is helpful to tighten the space between nodes/participants. It also helps so people donâ€™t miss content that interests them (lower threshold to participation).
You speak of content creation and evolution, and this to me is part of the flow of community. Creating flow to encourage participation, uplift visibility, and encourage activity whether through conversations, practices, or tools. What flows do you want to enable and what, as community manager, can you do to encourage them. (And conversely what flows do you want to discourage too.)
What do you think the role of a community manager includes? And in what context?