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« On the 'Echo Chamber', 'Thought Leaders' & 'Experts' | Main | Growing a Community is Like Making Risotto »

August 06, 2009

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Lani Rosales

>How do you think about, prioritize, and articulate your 'hidden' work?

Very thought provoking question, Rachel! I have two projects that require me to be the lead community builder/manager, AgentGenius.com and NMLab.com, and both are very different animals but I would argue that *most* of what I do is behind the scenes. Because community building is an intricate art, I could write out my entire playbook and it would still be almost impossible to replicate because each niche is different.

But back to your question... priorities used to be on a "whatever's on fire" basis but as the communities have grown exponentially, it is much more predictable and I can actually schedule my time accordingly, allotting specific time to specific tasks.

To articulate what I do, I simply explain to people that I'm the den mother of the space- I clean up messes, I give out gold stars, I cheerlead, I recruit writers and readers and most of all, I'm a listening ear.

I would add to your list that a successful community builder is always looking for and open to ways to collaborate with others in order to strengthen the community.

THANK YOU for illuminating the hidden side of the job- most people think it's flying from here to there to party because the pictures abound, but the truth is, it's an eight day week ;)

David Phipps

Great post on community managers that is recapitulated in the human off line world of community and social innovation workers. We see it can take a lot of underwater or behind the scenes work to become an overnight success....suspect the same is true for on line community managers.

David Phipps

Sue John

You've hit the nail on the head with this article. I would say 80% of my time is back-end, behind the door, one-on-one community and relationship building. It takes time and patience, and you need to build trust and respect. That's not all done "in the public eye". Thanks for highlighting this aspect of our roles as community managers

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