Observations of the History & Evolution of Community Management

The history and evolution of community management, as some classmates pointed out in our most recent Google+ Hangout class time, may seem dry, but I think it is an important topic to cover. Not everyone in class has had the same experiences or may not be as familiar with the ins and outs of community management. Although I have some experience in managing communities (currently through the Lubin House for Syracuse University in New York City), I still found the articles, videos and other readings useful. The more I can read about it, the better!

One thing that stood out to me during the Google+ Hangout was when Kelly mentioned that online communities are different for higher education than they are for other products — and I completely agree. I know that Lubin House (now @SUinNYC!) has a following and I know our “community” is listening, but it is hard to get an online reaction from them. Retweets and likes on Facebook are common, but actual conversation over social media really isn’t there.

On a plus side, I think Higher Education does a great job with starting a relationship online and then bringing it to an in person relationship. I know our followers are listening, because they show up to events where we can meet them in person. We get a lot of feedback that way. I look forward to taking what I learn throughout the semester in this class and using it to develop our SUinNYC community.

Other great points that I took away from the Google+ Hangout were:

  • Community management is about keeping your community happy and keeping their attention.
  • Outsourcing is not always a bad thing
  • Jenn mentioned that you should look at community management as “I don’t have to get everything done right now.” You can plan for a month, three months, nine months down the road.
  • Do not be on Twitter (or any other social networking site) if you are not willing to devote the time.
  • Social media initiatives are more easily accomplished with buy in from the top
    • At more institutionalized companies/organizations this can be harder

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