Chronicles of a haggard community manager

via Bitstrips

via Bitstrips

What does it take to lead a community?
What do you do? What are you in charge of? What does a typical day look like for you?
Questions I get on a daily basis.
And almost every time, I pause. I sigh. I say “almost everything” Then I attempt to list everything that I do.
It may appear scatterbrained to an observer but any fellow community manager will understand exactly what I go through and why its ambigious.
 
And the struggles are real…
From disagreeing with everyone else in the organization (because you are mostly the only community facing person in the organization; which gets worse as the organization grows) to the event struggles, to those colleagues who treat you like the office receptionist – you know, coz your job is unclear to them and they’d hate for you to while your days doing nothing :-P.
Also how do you measure success?
Can you measure engagement? Online we have tools for that. Offline, not so easy. Is it by the number of meetings you have and how bubbly you are during? Is it from how hagard you look after a day of 10 meetings at least 4 days a week?Is it by the number of tours you can do without dropping dead? Is it by the number of emails you were able to respond to today as we aspire to inbox(0)? Which , in case you are wondering hasn’t happened to me in a long minute.
How do you measure success of the startups you support when you are not the Community Manager(CM) of an incubator or accelerator and cannot even track clearly the number of startups that you churn out, seeing as you pre-incubate innovative individuals who might or might not become startups during or after your time with them?
Let’s keep talking about the chronicles of a haggard CM 😉
This is the first post in a fortnightly series about being a community manager. The highs, the lows, and a place to share tips for engaging a community. Wanna contribute an article? Email mugethi@hergeekyness.com.