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Online Community Management: Communication Through Gamers
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Online Community Management: Communication Through Gamers


April 1, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 8 Next
 

Emotional Qualities

These advantages go without explanation, and could be of great help for the job of community management, although I admit they are very difficult to detect in one, two, or even three job interviews: patience, empathy, self-confidence (but not too much), teamwork, management skills, humility, rigor, ability to listen, etc.

Common Mistakes

The following errors have been made in the past by publishers or developers -- and they had lots of regrets afterwards. As we must all learn from our own mistakes, it's also very important to learn from others' mistakes. Bear in mind: this list isn't exhaustive.

  • Sending community managers into the lion's den without proper information and/or backing from management

By underestimating the importance of community management, it can be easy to set someone to work without information or backing at the very beginning. It can lead to critical mistakes that can be avoided.

  • Not providing enough support to the CM's team/not managing the community team

The management of a community, especially a big community, is very hard on the nerves, and there have been some very famous community managers' nervous breakdowns. You can read about them if you do a little research.

The community managers have to form a team, with a team leader managing and providing the support his colleagues need, so they can rely on each other when they have problems, before losing their cool and insulting a whole community on the official boards.

  • Underpay/under-consider the community team

Community management is an important part of communication in the gaming industry, but as it is still relatively new and formative, it is very often under-considered.

Always keep in mind that the community manager is the first interlocutor with the players, and that he bears the image of your company. So don't expect him to do a quality job without the proper respect from his management -- and the proper salary.

  • Underestimate the importance of coordination between marketing, public relations and community management

Marketing, PR and community management are the three most common ways to communicate with the public. To maximize the effectiveness of this communication and avoid contradictions, good coordination is necessary.

Having the PR manager saying one thing to the media, and the community manager saying something else to the community, is always a bad and confusing thing.

Building and Management of a Gaming Community

Don't misunderstand the title of this part: a community will be created, grow, and live -- with or without management from the publisher or developer. The purpose of community management is to help it grow faster, ensure it won't die, and use it in a constructive way.

In my opinion, a whole book could be written on community management without being exhaustive about everything that has to be known -- so the following lines are just clues to begin the work.

By the way, as we've seen before, a community can exist without help, but the job of a community manager is to help it grow faster, and live in a good way -- and according to the publisher's strategy.

To do this, the first thing would be to prepare tools to help players build their own fan networks, meet other players and begin talking about the game. This is the easy part. Then begins the real work: keeping "control" of the community, and feeding it, to avoid an early death.

 


Article Start Previous Page 4 of 8 Next

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