Anyone who wants to be a community manager has unresolved mental issues. Those issues will be worked out, or expanded upon, by the stupefying hordes roaming the forums and online communities that need to be managed.
The world is filled with all kinds of people. Some of us are sane, rational, and have better things to do than try to sway the opinions of the world through poorly written manifestos posted on websites we don’t own. Others of us will do anything we can to spread our message at the cost of our sanity and whatever emotional toll it takes on random strangers we don’t know beyond their cute avatar and screen name. And a rare breed of person who straddles the border between that compulsive drive and fragment of sanity ends up as a community manager.
Community managers have to deal with countless people who don’t have common sense. They have to wade through thousands of typos and grammar errors to decipher what someone really means as they contradict themselves with each continuing sentence. They have to try and make the internet a saner and cleaner place than it ever will be.
To be a successful community manager, you have to live a double life of empathy for others and a stone-cold heart that doesn’t give a shit. You have to put the psychos in their place while raising the few sane people who choose to stick around above the masses. You have to be extremely personable, and able to bring the ban hammer of justice down upon the masses.
Sure, you get paid to deal with all this madness, but it takes more than a paycheck to want to do this kind of work. You need to have the heart, the nerves of steel, and a be able to take sick pleasure in your control of a tiny corner of the internet that is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. And to do so for months and years on end is a special kind of madness that only a true psychopath has. The kind of person who can be completely normal and personable in one second, and then ready to bathe in the blood of a fool the next.
Are you willing to give up your sanity to be a community manager? Will you give up the last linger threads of your humanity for years of thankless work in exchange for a cool sounding job title that has no practical application off of the internet besides the customer service desk of Target? Are you willing to act as a blood-thristy and bi-polar tyrant over an insignificant fiefdom of the internet?
Once you can answer “Yes” to all three of those questions, only then will you be able to to truly call yourself a community manager.
And when you can do that, tell me so I can stay as far away as possible.
That job description sounds sounds strangely similar to the one for “Raising kids”. Clearly, I’ve lost my sanity ages ago.
It’s basically the same, except they’re only as cute as their avatar.
Ah, it’s not so bad. I’ve been a community manager for a couple different places…and for FREE!
Of course, I wasn’t alone, but they weren’t small communities, either, so I did have to deal with quite a few different scenarios. It doesn’t necessarily take a psychopath, it just takes someone who doesn’t mind laying down the law, like Amy said, kind of like being a parent. =D
Just what we need. Crazy people working together to lay down the law.
Yup. That’s all I gotta say about that…
Ah, so thats why the Community Management comes so natural to me…
So, if I join - or worse, start - a Community Managers Club in my area, would that make me king of the psychopaths?
Nah, it’s what we did here in Switzerland - and we’re all certifiable so it’s ok 🙂
Loved the article, sent it to my coworkers as an explanation of what I do.
Now, just as some totally constructive feedback, check 5th paragraph, last sentence.
Should change: one not once; bathe not bath.
See we’re not just psychopaths but also anal 🙂
Nah, I blog and write tens of articles a day apart from managing a handful of online communities for different brands, and I hate when people just pinpoint errors in a mean spirited way. That’s why I clarified that that was not my objective. TBH, it was some constructive feedback, Jay could have read it and deleted it once its purpose was served.
Actually, I didn’t even noticed. I showed this to my girlfriend because its an amazing representation of what it means to work doing this, and she pointed them out.
“See we´re not just psychopaths but also have anal girlfriends” FTFY
Nacho that should be mean-spirited and once it’s not its. I’m also pedantic please forgive me. Also, I’m a Community Manager and unfortunately I don’t have a heart of steel so it can be hectic sometimes but hey, you take the good with the bad and I’d rather do this than sales *shudder*. 🙂
You speak truth, my friend. And I like the way you speak it.