October 10, 2023

Community Management Myth #6: It’s An Easy Job

By David D.

This is part of a blog series on 10 Myths About Community Management, please see the main article for more details.

A pervasive myth exists that community management involves little more than casual conversation and social interactions, making it an easy career path without substantial effort or responsibilities. However, meaningful stewardship of vibrant online and offline spaces demands extensive strategic, interpersonal and emotional labor far beyond surface assumptions imply.

At scale, management concerns constant learning to address diverse needs holistically through empathy, nuance and care. Cultural literacies evolve alongside participants while maintaining safety for all. Project coordination and troubleshooting occur behind pleasant facades amid complex realities of members’ whole lives intersecting.

Group dynamics require emotional intelligence navigating inter-relational complexities respectfully across differences through civil discourse alone. Leadership involves not reacting but lifting each voice through compassion even amid volatility – an art refined through failures alongside triumphs over years. No blueprint exists; only understanding humanity amplifies goodwill.

Managers act part organizer rallying collaboration on shared hopes, part conflict mediator reconciling disputes constructively and part counselor consoling members through personal struggles unseen by others. At times, they become confidants for those isolated or at-risk, navigating delicate situations carefully by walking alongside journeys.

Community emerges through generously investing oneself yet such responsibilities risk burning bright but briefly without self-care. Burnout plagues because members rely on managers’ unwavering empathy and optimism especially during trying times – heavy weights few acknowledge. Wellness demands resilience channeling passions into empowering others always above all else.

Progress follows nurturing fellowship, not reactionary demands alone. Management involves cultural proficiency, marketing programs skillfully while avoiding transactional reductionism and continuous learning embracing critique graciously. No credential fully prepares one for enriching lives freely given; only experience walking alongside others cultivates such depth of spirit.

When viewed as a casual social role, community management’s depths go unseen yet stewards enrich communities immeasurably through compassionately addressing humanity in all its fullness – work that uplifts souls holistically however slow or imperceptible outwardly. Their care allows fellowship to blossom freely as understanding grows where division once reigned. In this sense, no path uplifts lives more meaningfully.

David D.
David D.

Building Online Communities since 1998 | Full Stack Community Professional | Host of Community Live