IOCMA - Call For Participants // Sascha A. Carlin
This call is intended to gather professional community managers and community builders working in the field of online communities.
We are working in a field that has many different aspects. Community professionals have varying backgrounds, work in different industries and aim to fulfill different business goals. We work with all kinds of communities, all sizes of them and different topics and missions.
Since the take-off of Web 2.0 and with it user generated content the term community was enlarged to nearly all ventures on the web. Publishers, producers, service providers, more or less everyone who sells something, strive into creating communities.
Online Community Management is a challenging profession. It involves facilitation and moderation, selling the community idea within the company as well as to its customers. We depend on our superiors to grant us resources. We need to convince other departments to work with us. We need to evangelize where the community idea is new and to join efforts where it already is.
In fact, we are a product managers. But of a special kind. There is not a boxed product called community which you put on the shelves. We have a potential audience of millions. We have to know how to reach these people, what services to offer to them, how to get them involved in our companies’ business goals. It is about business and brand. Brands carry emotions, and what is a community other than people having emotions.
Until now, we were scattered. We sought help in the little literature that exists about online communities. We searched the web and found single pieces of information. We ventured into psychology and communication sciences, play theory, marketing and advertising.
But we missed something essentially. A place to go to when all else has failed. A place where we can find people who are in the same position as we are, who we can ask for guidance, best practices and ideas, who understand us.
There are more reasons yet to be addressed: education guidelines, lobbying and many more.
These are the reasons why we need something like IOCMA - International Online Community Management Association.
IOCMA seeks to become that one place. It’s time to engage.
If you are working as an online community manager, this call is aimed at you. Spread the word, comment below or drop us an e-mail or send a Skype message if you are interested in helping set up IOCMA, or just want to know when we take off.