What Would a Passionate Community Manager Do?

March 2, 2011

If there is one single trait between communities that succeed and communities that don’t, it’s the passion of the person in charge.

Even when communities are developed by amateurs (unpaid, but passionate hobbyists), they succeed because of the amateur’s passion. This means that the amateur in question is convincing when he or she reaches out to people; their message is sincere, often because it actually is. Their participation in these communities in their spare time also speaks to that passion.

To better illustrate what I mean, consider this example.

When a member contacts you saying they have forgotten their password, do you reply:

Dear Karen,

Please use the ““Forgotten your password?”” feature as shown in the login page.

Or do you say…:

Hey Karen,

No worries about forgetting your password, it happens to the best of us. I’’ve reset it now so just check your e-mail. By the way, I really loved your post about {something}, it ties in very well with an upcoming interview we have with {person}.

It would be great if you could suggest a few questions for her. We’’re currently a few short. In addition, if you know anyone else we should contact for some questions, let us know.

Thanks again for getting in touch. Try to be more careful about your password in the future!

Which do you think will have the better result? Which would you want your community manager to say?

You might say this is a minor difference. I think it is a decisive difference. It’’s the difference between a member of the community who feels they have made a stupid mistake, and one that feels more engaged and now has a reason to get others involved.

Richard Millington is an online community consultant and the founder of FeverBee Ltd. Richard’s clients have included the United Nations, The Global Fund, Novartis, BAE Systems, AMD and several youth and entertainment brands. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.

Re-Published with permission from FeverBee.

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