This past week celebrated the third annual “Community Manager Appreciation Day“. As I saw the tweets roll by, I realized I have become increasingly frustrated and worried that the roll of Community Manager is not yet defined as strategic and is often viewed through a singular marketing/support lens. I worry that if we don’t elevate the conversation, the role of Community Manager is endangered of going the way of the Webmaster in the 90’s – relegated to a support position. The Webmasters of yesterday are the innovators and digital thinkers of today. These uniquely talented folks that are community managers posses many of the skills of the Tummler. When Kevin, Heather and I started Tummelvision, we specifically chose a new word because we strongly believe this is not a role but a way of thriving in a networked age. It requires design, tech and human skills and can live anywhere in an organization. Tummlers and tummeling embody the future. In a world that is no longer command and control – everyone needs to understand “the tummel”. As we see things, the role of the CEO is that of a “community manager”!
With this is mind, we invited Amy Muller (@amygsfn) to be this week’s Tummelvision guest. Amy is what we call a natural Tummler. Connecting people and companies is pretty much akin to breathing for her. In her current incarnation, Amy is co-founder of Get Satisfaction where she helps to lead the charge of building relationships with customers through Community. She also trains and educates those same customers on how to effectively grow and manage their own customer communities. She has been in the trenches and understands that ‘designing for community” is not just about launching a facebook page or twitter account – it’s an attitude. Just take a look at the groundbreaking Company Customer Pact and you know that thriving in a networked world is territory she understands.
We specifically send a shout out to the world of hardworking folks known as community managers so we can start building some conversational bridges that broaden and deepen the discussion around catalyzing and connecting people in a networked world.