While “community” is the big buzz-word lately, I don’t really see very many people interested in building one. People seem to believe being a community manager (online or in the real world) is a good way to elevate their profile. I agree this sometimes happens, but only if a good job is done in the first place. It isn’t a magical process, it takes hard work. 

I’ve come across several examples of this lately. Through my job, I come in contact with new online community managers all the time. Good ones spend all of their time thinking about how they can benefit the community they are supposed to be managing. The rest of them think about boosting their status in hopes that it will gain them new community members. I’m not sure why exactly. I’ve never though to myself, “wow, that guy is a ce-web-brity, I want to be a part of whatever he is selling.” It is such a backwards way of thinking. The people I admire are admired because they’ve done amazing things.

 

5. Don’t try and attach your name to something only because you think it will look good on your resume. If you aren’t going to put in the work, you aren’t really a part of it.

4. Don’t say you want to foster community if you have your own personal agenda. At a minimum, be honest with yourself and others. 

3. Do think about all of the amazing things that can happen when you work together.

2. Do spend more time thinking about the purpose of the event than you do on your wardrobe or the press you’ll get.

1. Do remember that if it really is a community, there is no star, everyone is working together.