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SXSW: The Community Manager Manifesto

On Sunday at South By Southwest, a roomful of social media practitioners of all kinds came together for two and a half hours to create one document: The Community Manager Manifesto.

Natalie Rodic Marsan (founder of ImageBrokenOpenMedia), Nick Cicero (Lead Social Strategist of LiveFyre), and Tim McDonald (Community Manager of Huffington Post) sought to create a document that would exist as an aspirational set of ideals for community managers.

The room was divided into approximately nine groups of six, with each group being assigned the task of creating a declarative statement from a specific theme. The final result will be released next week, but in the meantime the Manifesto is available as a Google Document that any of the workshop's participants have the power to edit. Below is the Manifesto as it currently exists. Leave any suggestions in the comments and we'll suggest them to the group at large.


Community Manager Manifesto

Group Theme: Curating content from your community
-We create a continual experience loop where internal and external stakeholders are living in a collaborative environment that empowers and amplifies their voices.
-We are committed to educating communities on defined standards and criteria for curation, giving them the confidence to contribute.

Group members:
Kat Lourenco
Nikki Lee
Rachel Cain
Michelle Catin
Jean Scheidnes
Rafael Sangiovanni

Group Theme: Measuring the health of the community
Once a CM has defined the purpose of their community and understands who their audience is, they need to measure the health of this community by addressing:
-engagement levels
Measuring the health of a community will depend on the platform used.

Group members:
Price Smith
John Refford
Dean Broughton
Ricky Hutchinson
Jose Leon
Kaye Blum

Group Theme: Developing strategic action plans for the community
-We should be empowered with access to the information and data that we need to drive product development and change.
-We must participate in business strategy development & decision-making, providing community-voice insights to augment and validate strategy.
-We must be involved in any high - level discussions that affect any area of the business through advocates/brand ambassadors within.
-We represent and report on the voice of the customer, which must be respected and recognized as actionable data to drive business and/or product change.

Group members:
Justine Bloome
Dean Schaffer (
Dan Bohm (
Allie MacPherson (Text100)
Jessica Klimczak
Kimberly McCabe
Keith McLellan
Andrea Campbell

Group Theme: Trusting the Community Team
-We must publish clear and accessible process, protocol and service level agreement (SLA). And we must actively educate our colleagues about the above.
-We must facilitate an ongoing feedback cycle to support all steps of development to earn trust.

Group members:
Roland Smart
Carie Lewis @cariegrls
Alia Mohsen @amohsen
AMee Tomlinson @amee_tomlinson
Liz Arroyave @lizign
Meghan Krane @meghan_krane

Group Theme: Measurement of Community Manager as a Profession

-Education: We will become the educators to our organizations about insights/opportunities provided by the community and our value to empower employees to contribute to scalable social enterprise
-Relationships: We will become the identifiers and builders of critical relationships with advocates and influencers for the benefit of the brand and community growth

Group members:
Jessica Masterson @awomanswork
Mike Gerholdt @MikeGerholdt
Nicole Bohorad @nbohorad
Raechel Megahan @alphamommie
Meghan Murphy @mmurphydc
Boyan Shmorhun @boyanshmorhun

Group Theme: Connecting Community Members and giving them voice and a sense of belonging and ownership of the community.

-We will create a space where community members are encouraged and empowered to participate. Community must be given a say into the space and tools from the get-go.   
-We will seek to recognize, curate, and elevate good community-sourced content.
-We will seek to understand the needs and purpose of the community members and how to best communicate with them. We will be adaptable to this aim.
-We will give our community members a sense of purpose and reason to connect; thereby giving them a sense of belonging.

Group members:
Melissa Bojorquez
Lauren Hogan (@l_hoges)
Shannon Webb
Joel De La Garza
Joyce Sullivan (@joycemsullivan)
Jack Pate (@arkansas)

Group Theme: Developing a Voice in a 24/7/365 News Cycle

-Community managers should a part of creating and nurturing the voice of the company
-Empowered with enough info to represent their company autonomously
-All content contributors must understand their communities needs and expectations
-Community manager must inform the organization what we are learning from our community.

Group members:
Sharon Lasure-Roy @sharonlroy
Christina Brady @cfgbrady
Laurie Briggs @lauriebriggs
John burgess @work_jb
Gina Bollenback @gbollenback

Group Theme: For Customer Service and Product Feedback Declarative Statements:
-We must resound in a swift, all-inclusive and complete manner from start to finish.
-We must strive to make community members feel heard, valued and influential.
-We must meet community expectations at a minimum, and exceed them whenever possible.

Group members:
Anna Bacheller @annadaron The Nature Conservancy
Trevor Martin @trevorFmartin The Nature Conservancy
Adam Chapman @socialmedia2day Social Media Today
Scott Stephens @HotSauceFire Whataburger
Jessica Murray @jessicaRmurray Word of Mouth Marketing Association
Igla Lear Generoso @iglageneroso HP

Group Theme:  Internal collaboration
-Identify and work with key stakeholders to define community purpose and development of shared best practices and over arching guidelines.
-Work with key stakeholders to Determine and implement related tools and technologies to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness.
-Curate communications, understand key discussions, advocate insights/conversations back to key stakeholders

Group members:
Tony Dunn @tony_dunn
Jay Bartlett @jay_bartlett
Yunfei Ren @yufeiren
Phillip Crowe  @phillipcrowe
Mindy Broeren-Martosoedjono  @mindymusic
Kathy Houghtalen  @khoughtalen

Join The Conversation

  • Apr 14 Posted 4 years ago Kimberly McCabe

    Hi Adam,

    Since you posted the draft text I thought you might want to add a link to the final version

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