Summary: Godin predicts jobs of the future — #1 choice: is he talking about the job I have today? — List of top community evangelists I know
Well, Seth Godin just said so. Well, not exactly, because he calls it by a different name! Apparently, he likes to call it, Online Community Organizer. In a rather ambiguous post (if only he allowed comments, he could clarify?), he outlines what the job requirements for this role entail:
Someone with resilience, passion, persistence and excellent interpersonal skills.
What if you want to hire someone to build an online community? Somebody to create and maintain a virtual world in which all the players in an industry feel like they need to be part of it? Like being the head of a big trade association, but without the bureaucracy and tedium…
It would help if that person understood technology, at least well enough to know what it could do. They would need to be able to write. But they also have to be able to seduce stragglers into joining the group in the first place, so they have to be able to understand a marketplace, do outbound selling and non-electronic communications. They have to be able to balance huge amounts of inbound correspondence without making people feel left out, and they have to be able to walk the fine line between rejecting trolls and alienating the good guys.
Since there’s no rule book, it would help to be willing to try new things, to be self-starting and obsessed with measurement as well.
Sounds like my job. I like the distinction he drew, though. I’ve always maintained that communities cannot be managed, but in some cases they may need to be built and organized. There are a slew of community manager/evangelists (myself included) that are popping up everywhere nowadays, particularly for social media companies but I’m still a bit confused.
Now, when he says virtual world, is he talking about Second Life like worlds, or is he talking about community management on online forums, discussion boards, et al.? Because if it’s the latter, then it definitely is more of a job of the present since apart from me, there are so many of my friends who’re currently in similar jobs. Actually, Joshua from Bocardo, through whom I stumbled upon the definition lists community management as a mandatory requirement a long time ago.
Here are my favorite 10 15 20 (feel free to suggest others I’ve missed) community managers/evangelists whose present or most recent job could be what Godin predicts:
1. Damon Billian – SimplyHired, formerly PayPal Damon
2. Michael Rubin – NetFlix
3. Jeremiah Owyang – formerly at Hitachi
4. Jeremy Toeman – Sling Media
5. Robyn Tippins – MyBlogLog
6. Chris Brogan – Network2.tv, and Lifehack blogger
7. Scott Brooks – ConceptShare
8. Alex De Carvalho – Scrapblog
9. Betsy Weber — TechSmith
10. Tara Hunt — formerly at Riya
11. Will Pate – Flock
12. Craig Newmark – Craigslist
13. Guy Kawasaki – formerly Chief evangelist, Apple
14. Thomas Hawk – Zooomr
15. Robert Scoble – formerly Microsoft
16. Josh Bancroft – Intel Software Network (Thanks, Jeremiah)
17. Colin Devroe – Viddler
18. And, my good friend and developer evangelist over at Microsoft – AI
19. Jeff Barr – Amazon Web Services
20. Dan Theurer – Yahoo!
Updates: Forgot to mention my friend Will Pate (Flock) — Jeremiah adds to the conversation, recalls his favorite community folk — Chris Brogan suggests starting a group for community evangelists (to-do this weekend:) — looks like Jeremiah just started one on Facebook. Awesome!
What do you think Godin is talking about? What are other essential prerequisites for a community manager?