Community Management: The Strategic New IT-Enabled Business Capability
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A landmark new report from the Community Roundtable was released last week that shines a lot of light in this key new role. It’s a role that I’d point out that is emerging within a great many organizations in some form already, though often without the full understanding of the nature and scope that is required for good ROI. Despite having been around for years now, the rapidly evolving role of community manager is very much in flux today. Due to the focus on social business in recent years, it is now undergoing a simultaneous specialization and redefinition of the skills required as well as a re-evaluation as a likely nexus for strategic social business activities in the 21st century.
Whether community management is an IT function like the help desk or a management function of HR or something else entirely new are active discussions that are taking place in social software circles at the moment. In my opinion the IT/business divide may never have become as acutely obvious before, and community oversight, which is fundamentally enabled by technology, will likely reside outside of IT as it relocated to a more strategic place in most organizations.
But getting back to the report, the Community Roundtable (also known as The CR) is run by Rachel Happe and Jim Storer and bills itself as an organization where “social media and community practitioners gather to meet, discuss challenges, celebrate successes, and hear from experts. Along with providing a welcoming environment in which to gather and learn, The Community Roundtable is dedicated to furthering the discipline of community management.”
Their free new report is entitled “The State of Community Management – 2010” and it represents a major move forward in our understanding of exactly what we know about the state of the art in online community management. The report is endorsed by many well-known figures in the social media and Enterprise 2.0 spaces including Jeremiah Owyang, Oliver Marks, and others.