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CMSF.pngIt’s a great time to be a community manager! Organizations big and small are beginning to recognize that managed communities can help transform organizations, making them more resilient in a digitally connected world.


Yet, while the discipline of community management is becoming better understood, the specific roles within the discipline are still often poorly defined, measured and rewarded. We know from our work with community practitioners that there is a huge range in experience, responsibilities and compensation among community managers – it is not a one size fits all discipline. We also know that many people still believe community management is mostly about updating Facebook and Twitter. 


Quite to the contrary, we see community professionals playing a unique, strategic and under-valued role in evolving their organizations - helping them become more responsive, adaptive and innovative. Community professionals can be front line engagement specialists, and they can also play a critical strategic role in organizational transformation. At the same time, many community managers are frustrated by a lack of recognition, compensation and advancement opportunities - often epitomized by completely unrealistic job descriptions.


Our mission at The Community Roundtable is to advance the business of community and research has always played an integral part of that – helping people understand the dynamics and management approaches that build successful communities. We’ve made great strides at the macro level with our State of Community Management research and our Community Maturity Model framework, but we needed to apply the same research approach to the role of the individual community professional. With that in mind, we undertook our inaugural Community Manager Salary Survey, made possible with support from Jive.


This research documents the roles, skills, responsibilities, compensation, evaluation and professional development opportunities of over 350 individuals in the community space today.


What we found was enlightening:


  • Community professionals on average have 13 years of work experience, suggesting that while entry level jobs exist, they by no means represent the average community professional
  • Community job descriptions are poorly rationalized between experience required, responsibilities and compensation - making it challenging for organizations to hire and hard for community professionals to find challenging and exciting roles that won’t burn them out.
  • Less than one-third of community professionals find jobs through traditional job postings, making the career path opaque and hard to navigate.
  • Community executive roles are increasing, suggesting that community programs are growing in strategic importance as organizations understand the value they generate


Most notably, along with the research findings, we developed the Community Management Skills Framework, included here. This framework helps individuals, managers and organizations understand the scope of community management roles and the specific priorities of each through the four skill families found within community management:


  • People and engagement skills
  • Content development skills
  • Strategic and business skills
  • Technical skills


The full report helps answer the following questions:

  • What is the role of a community manager, community strategist or director of community?
  • How to define or refine the role to be more realistic for one person?
  • How to bring compensation in line with responsibilities?
  • What is a good starting point for building a job description?
  • How to help the HR team define standard job categories and descriptions?


We hope you’ll download this research and use it as a springboard for discussing these issues in your organization, and in the broader field of community.


Additionally, if you are looking to enhance your own skills in community management, Jive and The Community Roundtable have partnered to offer both internally- and externally-focused professionals training on community management fundamentals. This is a fantastic resource that provides short video tutorials combined with actionable worksheets  - you can access both courses here Jive User & Community Manager Training.

Okay - I am getting this in just under the wire as I was out sick most of last week.  The Starbucks gift card is a great motivator though so here goes...thanks Adam Mertz!


This is a screenshot of the main Overview for the Pega Mesh.  This is primarily a work collaboration community.  It began in Engineering for product development collaboration for teams distributed around the globe and has evolved into a collaboration system that teams across our company use.  Enabling people to work better together is a key goal and we highlight and reward people who drive more work into the open and/or commit to helping others and sharing information.  Ideation is used in specific areas for product innovation, organizational innovation, and innovation on internal systems as well.


Our system began as an employee/customer/partner community back in 2006 (on a different platform) and we've maintained that functionality.  People collaborate with 3rd parties as part of specific programs run in the community, in private groups as well as long-standing focused product spaces, and in account specific areas.


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The second screenshot is our main help space which is open to everyone in the community.  We've had this help area since we first created the community but we re-created nearly all of the content when we upgraded from Jive 4.5 to 6.x in October 2013.  We are now running on Jive 7.x, on premise.  You may notice the orange coloring on the banner and side bar.  We use that across our community to let users know the visibility of the content.  We keep it simple - blue is internal only, orange is not (this is persisted to emails from the system as well).


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This screenshot is a preview of something to come!  We are introducing a person to person relationship building feature called "Meshies".  It's been in our backlog for ages and I'm happy we're finally releasing it.  This is a little simliar to the props app but the interaction and visibility is through user profiles and the Meshies are not being given specific meaning - we are letting the user base determine what Meshie they want to send to someone for their given purpose.  They can include a note with the Meshie. The goal is to keep it lightweight and simple to foster usage.  In discussion with users we found that they would not use them if they felt formal or for specific purposes only.  We'll see how it goes - the go live is still a few weeks out!  (required statement: Images are Pega's - no reuse please.)


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Here is a snapshot of the Welcome/Get Started screen in our Jive instance branded Engage which replaced our previous company portal. We launched to our sales teams about 1 month ago and could not be more pleased with the user adoption and overall positive response. Jive is helping us to build bridges between our offices and we've been using it most to collaborate on projects, participate in continuing education, share knowledge and best practices, communicate efficiently and effectively, and keep in touch with news around the organization.

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Below is a snapshot from a discussion early on titled "How Will Jive Help ImageNet?" when we were first trialing the software.

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We are thrilled with Jive and look forward to gaining new ideas in this group.


All the best,


The HUB at Philadelphia Insurance Companies - How we are adopting the future of work

Our internal community has been live for 15 months.  We gave the community a face lift in July with the assistance of Social Edge Consulting .  The Mosaic image map on the Homepage is very easy to manage and gives us a nice group of images to kick off the community.   The responsive design of this tool, enables us to manage it within the community without depending on a graphic designer. Our organic phased adoption approach has led us from Customer Service and Account Management to mobile worker support and ideation. 


Most consuming, participating, and contributing members are raving fans because questions are answered quickly and efficiently without major interruptions to their day.  It is a welcomed change from one off phone calls and emails. In areas where the answers are incorrect, this is a benefit as well, since it leads to transparency of a current broken process or misunderstanding that would otherwise go unnoticed.  The community is helping us build the trust networks we need to work more productively outside of our traditional silos.  This is beginning to happen at an accelerated rate as we work to integrate rewards and recognition programs within the platform.

Our last Participation Ladder Report, illustrated here, shows that we excel in the area of contributing, but still need to work on the adoption of 40% of our user base.

We have some idea jams, innovation challenges, and Champions group activities planned for this quarter that we are really excited about.

Below is a screen shot of the community homepage.  The second shows the "Exchange" which encourages cross department opportunities to connect, communicate, and collaborate.  The last shows an example of a sub-space to the Exchange.



The 6 Sub-spaces to the "Exchange" all have the same layout, each  with a description, community manager identification, and call to action.  I am specifically responsible for Shared Services IT space as well as many of the community manager responsibilities.

I work for a Service Organization that provides services to Philadelphia Insurance but, we are all owned by the same holding company.   I have integrated SharePoint 2010 with our instance to keep the formal communication separated from the informal and provide the rich content management features of SharePoint while enabling the strong collaboration aspects of Jive.  Since the company I work for (TMNA Service) offers other services to sister companies outside of IT, we are establishing a new community for the shared services company and will surface the information needed for cross company interaction through custom apps, bridging, and or external contributor features.  This solution is still in the early phases, but I would be happy to share where we end up at a later time.

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After 2 Jiveworlds and working with Jivers, customers in the local user group, and 3rd party vendors, I can honestly say it is a great supportive community and it really fits with what I am about.  I am happy to be an explorer work type and help pave the path for bigger and better things within my organization and beyond.

Cheers for now


Jive Community managers, you've poured your heart and soul into helping transform the way your company connects, collaborates, and communicates.  Sometimes this transformation is focused on customers, sometimes its focused on partners, sometimes on employees, and for the truly heroic social and digital strategist it's all three.


Starbucks coffee.jpgAs a small token of appreciation for all this hard work, we want you to go to Starbucks, on Jive!  But of course, this community stuff is about SOCIAL and SHARING right!!

So all you need to do to get a $10 Starbucks gift card is make a post in this group on or before January 26, Community Manager Appreciation Day, that contains two things:

  1. A screenshot (or more than one if you like) that highlights your community and gives your peers an idea and look into what you've been spending your time on.  Feel free to add any context as well about the screenshot (e.g., "we're focused on a corporate communications use case" or "this is how we use Jive for our IT help desk" or "we onboard people with Jive like this").
  2. Some quote, thoughtful note, or nice thing that somebody has said to you or on your community about how your community has made their work life better or easier in some way.  Maybe it's finding an answer faster than before, maybe it's something about finding someone across the globe that helped move some idea or project forward.

We want to hear that appreciation you so deserve for all that hard work, so share away!  And hopefully this facilitates more connections with your peers at the same time.


A couple notes:

  • Whatever screen grab tool you use (Nimbus Screenshot, Jing, etc.) for the screenshot, just make sure it's set to capture at the highest resolution.
  • Try to grab screenshots that are of the whole screen to help give people as much context as possible.
  • Also, remember that of course this is a public community, so best case scenario is to not share a screenshot that highlights some top secret plans.
  • Moving forward, we want to better highlight all the hawtness of our customer's communities, so you never know maybe you'll see your screenshot in some future iteration of our customer section on our website or we may share a link to your post via one of our social channels.


And if you want yet another $10 Starbucks card:

As I'm posting this in the internal community manager area, I should also note that for those of you who have customer and partner communities and want to get another $10 Starbucks gift card emailed your way, just post in Jive External Communities a screenshot of your customer or partner community on Jive, following the format above.


Anyway, here's to all the great Community Managers driving their companies forward on Jive!


The Journey Begins

Posted by ania.karzek Jan 4, 2015

As a business, we are about to embark on our first foray into enterprise social technologies and I thought it might be useful for fellow new users to blog about our experience.


I don't know about anybody else, but when implementing a new instance, there is so much to think about and so much to work out and navigate, it would be nice to know someone else out there has been through the same things. Of course, we know we all go through the same things but by the time we're looking backwards, it all looks so straightforward we usually forget about the lessons along the way. So, here I am, sharing an 'as we go' experience.


My first observations are about the challenges and excitements of getting the concept off the ground.


When you're sitting there thinking "if only we had a way to do....." and then you realise there is a ready-made solution available to you, the excitement rises. Finally, that thing that annoys the gee-willikers out of me in my job will be a distant memory! Hoorah for technology! Now I'll be able to be more productive, more effective and look - there's all this other stuff it can do to! I can't wait to go out and get this thing! Sooooooo exciting.......!!!!!!! And then you hit your first internal roadblock (insert noisy deflation sound effect here).


I won't kid you, getting buy-in wasn't easy. Two years it has taken, to get approval for a limited trial. But I maintain it will be worth it. It will be worth testing the perception that our staff are not technologically enabled or inclined. It will be worth living with the fear that no one will see a use for it. It will be worth the sleepless nights over which use cases to focus on for maximum executive impact. It will be worth the feelings of uncertainty for all that time that you're not 100% sure how this thing works but you have faith that it does, and can for you too. It will be worth it. I know it will. I don't know how, but I know it will.


The thing that gives me the glimmer of hope, that feeds my kernel of faith is that in going through this process, I have found a tribe. I've found a bunch of people who upon first hearing say "hey, that's great! Could I use it for......? Hey, what if we also use it for........? What do you need me to do? Have you spoken to .........? They'd love this!" I've found an entire tribe of collaborators who will help me dispel the fears and perceptions and uncertainty and will make the sleepless nights worthwhile.


My first lesson is: find your tribe. Find as many people who get it as possible. They'll keep you going when the cynics surface by reminding you that you're not the only one. There are more of you out there who want to make it better. Who want to do more. Who want to work together. Who are committed to your field, your job, the business. You're not alone - find the others!

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