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.