This is my second time celebrating Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD), but my appreciation for the role and my company has grown exponentially since last year. When I accepted the community manager position at Social Edge, I knew I’d see a side of social collaboration and Jive Software that I’d never experienced as an end user.  I looked forward to learning new skills and facing new challenges. But this year, I learned one of the best parts about being a community manager in Jive is the continued support you receive from your colleagues.

As a community manager, you try and maintain an optimistic attitude when the going gets tough. Sometimes you try a new engagement strategy that you’re sure will jumpstart a community, and the opposite occurs. But then there are those times when a new skill takes on new meaning.

I remember when a colleague and I were brainstorming ways to enhance our employee training program and content. We decided to get creative, have some fun, and produce our own training videos. They’re visually engaging, employees can watch them at their own pace, and they’d always be available. Although it was a grand idea, I was unsure how to begin. Neither of us had ever recorded videos before. My colleague sensed my self doubt and filled me with words of encouragement. So, I had my first go at it and it was…less than perfect. I was nervous, my voice was shaky, the editing needed more… editing. Not to mention it took me almost ten hours. But after a week or two I started to get the hang of it and became more confident in myself. As a test, I posted one of my videos in our internal Social Edge community for another person to review. I left my desk, came back and saw support from almost all of my colleagues. “Way to go!” “Keep at it! You’re doing great!” “This is awesome!” I didn’t solicit comments from them, but they cheered me on anyway.

Since then, I’ve enjoyed making a number of videos to help others better understand how to use Jive, and get more comfortable with social collaboration. These videos are like mini-tutoring sessions, since I can literally show and tell how to perform a task or create content. They’ve really helped me connect to my end users, and better understand how I can help them. Transparency in social collaboration makes that possible.

You can’t appreciate community managers without a community to begin with. So I want to say thanks to all of my amazing coworkers for the support you’ve shown me over the past year. I can’t wait to see what this next year will bring and the new skills I’ll learn!