As a community manager, vacation time is a bit of a quandary.  I need a rest as much as the next person but who will drive traffic, answer questions, post new materials and help out while I am gone?


The short answer is the community advocates. 


Sometimes you do not even know who they are.  Sometimes they change over time.  Sometimes you ask them to be an advocate.  No matter how they got to be an advocates, they all have one thing in common, the collaborative spirit.


I did not know there were so many collaborative spirits about for the first two years as a community manager.  I did have volunteers helping me with some of the community issues but I had not thought about the community member themselves as advocates.  That was until I had to leave for a more extended period of time.  I did not know who all the voluntary advocates were so I opted for publishing a post in the community stating that I would be out and to please help each other out for the duration. 


The results were very pleasing.  I think that the open post to the community was a viable solution.  There was higher-than-average traffic in the community as many members stepped up to bat and helped other members get answers or search for solutions.