Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD) is held the 4th Monday of January, “to pause, recognize, and celebrate the efforts [of] community managers around the world…” (Read the founder’s original blog post.)
I’m grateful to Jeremiah Owyang for establishing this annual event that not only celebrates individual community managers, but the practice and profession of fostering and guiding communities online and off.
On this particular CMAD, I am reflecting on those community management practitioners out there that made such a huge impact on me.
Many years ago I took a job working for an organization as their community manager. While I had worked in social media and community management prior, my new job was a bit different, presenting unique challenges that I had not faced before. I needed outside help.
Though there were some good resources out there on the interwebs for community managers, it still wasn’t exactly what I needed. I was feeling rather lonely in my work, which is not at all a good thing for a community manager.
Around the same time a new community manager group was just getting started, helmed by the man who would become one of my all-time favorite community heroes – Tim McDonald. He started a blog called My Community Manager (mycmgr) and a weekly Google hangout and Twitter chat called #cmgrhangout.
I discovered it via my constant searching on the Twitter hashtag #cmgr. Tim was one of the most welcoming spirits I had ever encountered in the community manager community. He exuded those traits that we all hope to bring to community management: generosity, empathy and a willingness to help.
He immediately attracted the interest of others with the same disposition – most notably an awesome community manager I am proud to call a friend, Sherrie Rohde.
After spending time getting to know folks in the Twitter chat, I became a semi-regular in the Google hangouts for about a year. I didn’t feel embarrassed to ask questions that might have seemed dumb, and I eventually got to a place where I was the one sharing my #cmgr wisdom with others.
The challenges I faced in my own community became less daunting because I knew I could get the empathy and help I needed from Tim, Sherrie and the gang at mycmgr.
I wasn’t alone anymore.
Today in celebration of CMAD, the gang at mycmgr is once again shining a light on community management and elevating our profession with a full day’s schedule of Google hangouts and #cmgrhangout Twitter chat.
These hangouts and chats are geared toward helping new and veteran community managers spread their wings, meet community management peers, and learn more about the practice of community management.
I’ve organized one of the hangouts myself – “Change Management: Migrations, Redesigns & Upgrades, Oh My!” I’ve had to work through a lot of changes in my community management work, and I wanted to hear the stories of others who have successfully met the challenge of managing change. I have assembled a great panel of community managers and digital experts in technology, agency, non-profit, and niche communities.
Please join us for the hangout at 6 p.m. CST. Ask questions and provide feedback during the hangout with the hashtags #cmgrhangout #cmad.
It’s going to be a great day. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.