Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Online Community Managers

I remember a long time ago filling out a tax return and putting "Blogger" in the box that said "profession." My accountant looked at me sideways ... we changed it to "Writer" since he wasn't at all sure what anyone would make of it.

Those were the days. You told people you were a blogger at a party and you could stand there counting the blank stares. But everything's changed, hasn't it?

Within one week, I've been asked by two very different organizations to help them find a talented, well-connected, ubernetworking "Online Community Manager" -- definately a job that didn't exist, say, 5 years ago. Actually, five years back, it probably existed as a concept in the minds of political organizers. And four years back, we saw the effect of online grassroots community managers in a few key political races.

Now everyone wants to get their communities rallying for a cause (name any cause, often NOT a political one either) and the need to play touchy-feely with their constituency is right up there at the top of the list. And as for making recommendations for the perfect Online Community Manager, now it's really a job, it really exists as a role in an organization, it really matters, but it is really hard to find such a person.