Community Management: The Intersection of People and Tech

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 3.16.19 PMPut a bunch of community managers in a room together and you’ll most likely hear conversation about a few different topics. But two things that come up more than most other subjects are technology and people. This is essentially what happened when #CMGRClass brought together four successful community management professionals in a Google Hangout on Tuesday. Through the different backgrounds of each person, I found one similarity, both have had interest in tech and people since their college days, which is what can get you into the field.

Community managers from Moz, Cycle for Survival, Klout and Google joined the class to talk about how they got to where they are today. For a student like me, this information is a great way for me to apply myself in hopes of one day becoming a community manager.


Moz started as an SEO consulting company and produces software and dabbles in analytics. Jen, a community manager on staff, works to educate its community about SEO, regardless of whether or not they pay for Moz services. Jen studied journalism in college and focused on public relations early on. She started in the technology field out of college as a web developer but she still had a passion for writing and talking to people. She came about Moz and started out as a technical consultant but found herself leading a lot of the training sessions, talking to clients and writing. What made Jen unique and perfect for the job of community manager was that she knew her community well. In fact, she was just like the people who were in her community. That was her most interesting point. Community managers are most successful when they themselves would like to be a part of their own community because they’re serving people just like themselves.


Cycle for Survival 

Cycle for survival is an indoor team cycling event that raises money for research of “rare cancer” diagnosis.¬†100% of every dollar raised goes to research. It’s a peer to peer fundraising model and Lea says her job as community manager is to just give the community what it needs to run a successful event. Lea graduated from Syracuse University with a public relations degree but really wasn’t happy with the work she was doing with her internships. She was working at a digital marketing company when she recommended that their business should get on Twitter. That’s when social media really became her focus. She was great with the people element as a PR major and was combining it with her love for tech to deliver the information people needed.


Klout is a digital influence tool that we’ve talked about a lot in the class so far. It measures how influential a user is using an algorithm that brings in statistics from social networks of the users choice, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or others.¬†Sahana, the community manager, focuses on content marketing, social media management, public relations, product marketing, email marketing day-to-day during her job. But she also has been helping community members become more influential through education. She studied economics in college, and joined a management consulting firm but didn’t like it. She was really drawn to tech and is very passionate about people. She wanted to interact with them in an authentic way everyday. She started with social media at a startup and went from there.


I don’t really have to explain what Google is. Topher, a community manager in New York for Google Local NYC, uses online interactions and in-person events to encourage people to explore and share. He started in sports marketing but wanted to pursue art. He moved to the city and organized meet ups with others interested, the offline form of a community. He worked at an art college in the admissions office and established social media accounts to draw in more people. He increased international applications though his use of tech and his interactions with people.

See any similarities? All four love tech and are great with people and are well on their ways to successful community management careers.

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