I took the opportunity to check-in to the Twitter chat of #cmgrchat on Wednesday, April 10th. I found the experience to be very enlightening and entertaining. The topic was formatted as “Battle of the Sexes”, which become apparent throughout the conversations that it was not really a battle but more of an open, honest conversation.
I wasn’t completely sure how to jump in to the conversation so I sat back and “listened” for a bit. The conversations were fluid with people shareing ideas and responding to tweets. It was apparent to me that most of them had a great familiarity with one another, which seemed to allow an open and “real” conversation regarding everything from pay scales (By the way, in case you were wondering about the pay, @TheCmgr shared this – “In 2012 men made an average of $54,880 to women in the same role making $50,400. How can women close the gap?”) to advice for communities and deliberating the possibilities of male and female roles as a community manager. The question was posed regarding the possibility of an ungendered community manager position. Some examples that were given were “only a female could be the community manager of a feminine hygiene product”, or “could a female represent a predominantly man’s brand and get a good response from the community”.
The majority of the CM’s on the chat seemed to agree that it is about connecting with your community regardless of gender. I personally have to agree with this statement. From what we have been learning and what I have observed online, a good community manager can connect with their community and engage well regardless of their gender. I think there may be only a few times where gender can matter. One was mentioned in the chat as dealing with women who have been abused. They may not be open to having a male as the community manager or feel they can openly “unload” in that space. @DebNg said it well with “It shouldn’t be tied to a specific gender, but how will the community react?” This is the primary question that should be asked and answered. It it is the community that ultimately will decide the effectiveness of its manager.
My personal experience with this chat was amazement. I was very impressed with the open conversation in the safe environment that has been created there. People shared their opinions openly and were met with honest responses. That seems to be what a community should be all about. I also was impressed with the amount of great information sharing that took place there.( I can’t wait until I have time to check in weekly!) The take aways I gained from this experience were:
- Sometimes you must agree to disagree but always be respectful about it
- A key is being sensitive to needs of your community
- In most cases it *shouldn’t* matter what the gender of the cmgr is. In some cases is absolutely matters.
- A great
#CMGR transcends gender and creates a community around a product, mission, goal, interest.
- The best person for the job is the best person for the job, regardless of gender
Looking forward to all that this talented and creative group of community managers has to share in the future. It seems to be a great place to connect with knowledgeable, intelligent and kind people. Great community of Community managers!