Community Management 101
Community Management: Choosing Your Teams
Once you get started with building your community, you need to figure out what teams your going to have at the community, and what they will be for. This is critical, because you need to know what their job is at the community, and be able to provide a description to them of what their job is. You should double-up your employees if you need to, but only do this in a case of A-shortage in staff; or B-a new team. You need to get the community and staff used to a team, so before you open the community, you should probably get a few staff members, to get the place running a bit, and get some posts in.
Second hand, you need to have a good handful of staff members running your community. You should have a second full-time administrator, or a junior administrator to rely on, encase you have to take a leave-of-absence, or an unexpected leave. Try to maintain contact with your other administrators encase of one of those situations listed above. Make sure you have multiple moderators encase one or more of them are not as active as the other(s).
Here are some other teams you might want to have, depending on the community:
- Support Team
- Server Team
- First-Response Team
- Graphics Team
- Request Team
- Showcase Team
- Graphics Moderators
- Package Team
- Advertisement Moderation Team
- Sections Administrator
- Off-topic Moderation
Community Management: Maintain a Relationship With Your Staff
It is very important to maintain a relationship with your staff. You need to treat them with respect, and you need to befriend them. The better friends you are with him/her, the better change you will work with them for a long time. If you don't maintain a good relationship, they're working for nothing, and they're getting no respect out of it.
Try and give them some kind of compensation if it is a volunteer job. Try and speak to them everyday, or whenever possible. Make sure the community is treating the staff with respect, and don't let them overturn the staffs decision. You might want to think about implanting a rule of the following "And disrespect to authority (staff), will land you a ban or warning level increase." That rule will come in handy for most communities-but not all.
Community Management: Remove Tension
Another major factor that closes a community is tension and anger. Don't let the community members be angry with the staff, find a solution to that. Don't let the staff be angry with the community, find a resolution. You can't have tension, hatred, and anger within the two sections of the community, because that will completely close the community.
You need to start contests, get the staff involved in them. You need to get the staff more involved in community things so they will work with the members. You need to get the staff to drop a PM to a community member every once in awhile just to see how their doing, to reassure them that the staff is always there for them. Don't leave doubt, leave happiness and fill-in those holes.
Community Management: How an Administrator Should Act
Through my years handling various multi-interest communities, whether they be gaming in particular, or geared to any certain interest over the internet, an administrator should always act accordingly to a few basic guidelines, which will eventually promote affection from the members of the community. Note how these few guidelines go well along with the Bill of Rights provided by the American government. If followed correctly and regularly practiced, these guidelines for an administrator of a community will help the community prosper.
A community administrator should always be active and open. This ensures that the members of the community are always heard, which brings us into this next concept of free-speech. Allow community members to freely and openly discuss matters they want to address about the community, whether the issues may tarnish the community's reputation or not. At the end, people will realize that despite any bad comment that may be promoted, it was proudly displayed, and the community has nothing to hide, bringing in more people to become a part of the community. Finally, a community adminstrator must abide by his or her own rules. You think this may be obviously done by any able administrator, but there is always a case where an administrator provides a degree of lee-way for him or herself, destroying the purpose of the guidelines set. All in all, these few guidelines should be able to promote a sense of governance in any community.
@strudinox 83219 wrote:
Another thing worth mentioning is to keep staff size in relation to active members. You don't want a community consisting of mostly of just staff members (though it would be quite organized).
That is true! If you have a community full of staff, and no community members, than you really don't have a community.