The community manager often lives at the sharp end of business practise – which means balancing the demands of your bosses and the expectations of your community members. It can be exhilarating and exhausting as Scott Drummond has explained previously. Somewhere in this sandwich of innovation topped with a lettuce leaf of frustration is the diversity that constantly attracts curiosity seekers to these roles. But what is the business of a community manager? This report from the Community Roundtable does a good job of explaining the state of play – with contributions from respected practitioners working in agencies, in small business and in the enterprise.
The report a little too US-focused for my liking – and could do with a healthy dose of input from Europe, Asia and Australia. But one of the challenges of community management is – as the authors point out – that the complexity of the discipline is often at odds with an organisational view of it. (Maybe we need to have some of those smart marketers give community management a makeover!)
Jokes aside, this report provides business innovators with plenty of ideas for improvement. And no matter whether your business embraces these opportunities on a large or small scale, it’s clear that there are competitive advantages on the offing. Take a read, and then get to work.