What does a community manager do?

I've been wondering about that for years and well, I've suddenly been placed into this position, which leads me to believe that somewhere there is a deity bent on playing parlour games with my life. Even as of two weeks ago I wasn't quite sure what a community manager did. I mean, it's not like I get to "manage" all of you people, I can't write reports or evaluate any of you.

This week, as I move away from my previous duties and into the new ones under the care and guidance of my new Community Team family, headed by chief whipmaster Giuseppe, and trying very hard to avoid the smoking pits of doom that I might fall prey to, I think I'm getting a small vision of my future.

It involves multiple presentations. Good thing I like public speaking. Too bad you may all hate my publicly speaking :)

So what's upcoming? I'm preparing two presentations, one of which I know I have to give and that is to the New York PHP group. I don't believe RSVPs are required and if you are in the New York area, it would be good to see you there. It's being organized by Hans Zaunere and I'll be giving a talk on "Writing a Social Application with PHP/MySQL, and what happens when a million people show up on opening day".

That's a talk from some of my past experiences and while I howled in pain then, I hope I can give you all a good laugh now. More importantly, I'm looking forward to spending some time discussing with you all about your experiences and maybe we'll all learn from one another.

The talk is on November 12 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Suspenders Bar and Resaurant, please check the information for more details.

The other talk I'm not entirely certain when and where and to whom, but it's my take on "What is MySQL". I had the urge to write out my global plan for world dominance using MySQL, but that was just my latent Pinky and The Brain influences getting in the way.

What else does a community manager do? I'll tell you next week as I travel alongside Giuseppe "The Datacharmer" Maxia to Baltimore followed by Charlottesville for the OpenSQL Camp. Hopefully I'll have lots of opportunity to learn more from the community over the next couple of weeks.

However, just in case you are wondering, I will be travelling "incognito"... My business cards won't have arrived from Sun, so chances are I will get to practice writing out my name every time I need to let someone know who I am. Have you noticed how long my name is? Sigh. The dirty secret of being a community manager is that they don't give you an Ewok slave.

Comments:

Well, the name we settled on earlier, when I took over from Zak Greant who was "Community Advocate", was "Community Relations Manager" - and that can work both towards the company as well as the rest of the world. Lenz, Jay and later Colin (who was first Community Engineer) picked up the same naming.

So, was the word "Relations" dropped from your title?

Posted by Arjen Lentz on November 04, 2008 at 11:39 AM EST #

"Community Relations Manager" - CRM - Lead Generation! :-p

Posted by Jack on November 04, 2008 at 11:50 AM EST #

Arjen, you are quite right it is "relations" I left it out of the post by accident and the rush to get to the election party ;) It will be fun working with all of the community, including you and so many of the countless faceless people out there using MySQL who make up our community.

Dups

Posted by Duleepa Wijayawardhana on November 04, 2008 at 04:48 PM EST #

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This is the blog of Dups... currently I'm one of MySQL's Community Relations Managers for Sun Microsystems, post, contact me, I want to hear from you!

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