Monday, July 21, 2008

Follow Up to "Delight" Post

More and more you are starting to see super exciting roles for "Community Manager's" at exciting young tech companies. In most cases I view these roles as the Chief Delightment Officer at a company who engages with, support and befriends the community and makes the product, brand and company real to users. As my prior post mentioned the responsibility for delighting customers lies with everyone but making someone accountable for care and feeding of the community in the early days is a great move. A great example of how this can work is Melanie Baker at AideRSS. She is a great cheerleader, access point to development, PR person, etc that people who are engaging with AideRSS can interact with to reinforce the product experience. Great product + great human interface = successful brand building and customer engagement.
There is no shortage of debate on this topic with an article being written by ReadWriteWeb , commentary about online community at the WSJ and new positions opening up with much more regularity than ever before.
I am all for this role and believe that managing your online brand, marrying the human experience with the product experience and Delighting your customers is critical to a startup.
If you are interested in what I think is a fantastic role in any organization Austin Hill, who has a startup called Akoha, is currently looking for a "Community Gardener", check it out. Even if you aren't interested in the role check out the job description as it does a fantastic job of giving you insight into the type, style and culture that Austin is building at Akoha. Even job description are part of the customer experience!

6 comments:

  1. Aww, thanks! (I gotta tell my friends someone called me a cheerleader. You'll probably be able to hear the amused snorts from there.) ;)

    It's awesome to get feedback on how I'm doing, since, as you noted, it's still a pretty new role (especially in this area) and the parameters are still getting hashed out.

    Of course, one of the up-sides of that is it's given me juicy things to think about re. exactly what people like me are meant to be doing in this role, and what overall purpose we're serving with regards to the development of tech and the industry.

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  2. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the link & noticing our job post.

    I agree with you completely that job descriptions are a huge part of creating the right tone & experience for candidates and customers.

    At my last startup we had "Officer in Charge of Afternoon Singalong" which was a title that a developer gave himself. He approached his job with humor & style. When we grew and he became "Director of Development" people looked and interacted with him differently.

    Sometimes a little language & personality can go a long way to setting the right tone for a relationship.

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  3. Austin,

    Good luck with the search, I love Ben's site over at Standoutjobs.com as well! Look forward to seeing how it turns out and will be watching for news from Akoha. The Hiring process is just another opportunity to market a company (especially startups) build brand and culture...well done!

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  4. Paul,
    You are absolutely right about Melanie Baker.

    I first met her on twitter, when she was pointed out to me through a friend. Since then, I've corresponded with her on twitter and her blog. She's responded to my comments about aiderss and social media in general. And she set up an opportunity for me to interview both AideRSS's founder and CEO for posts on my blog.

    She's a great evangelist who conveys a very personal sense of connection with the community that is growing around AideRSS.

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