When I first got involved with online communities (mumblemumble years ago now), they were largely digitized gatherings of misfit humans around common interests or topics.
Suffice it to say that the world of Community has changed drastically since then, and as a result, the role of the people that steward and tend to those communities has changed drastically too.
Now we have this interesting dynamic, especially between brands/businesses and their various communities. It’s not exactly personal. It’s not strictly “professional”. We’re all trying to hone this elusive “perfessional” balance that maintains the respect of customer/prospect/influencer-to-business relationship but adds a dose of personal attention, communication and voice that ensures each person as an individual feels seen and heard.
It’s not easy.
But even as some things change, many things stay the same, and there are few things your community will undoubtedly need as you gear up for building, managing, and stewarding those relationships in 2016, whatever it looks like. [Read more…]