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  • Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, a community consultancy and Professional Community Management course. Richard is also the author of Buzzing Communities: How To Build Bigger, Better, And More Active Online Communities. Richard's clients have included Google, AutoDesk, United Nations, Novartis, Wikipedia, Oracle, The World Bank, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Fidelity Investments, and many more. Richard is also the the author of the Online Community Manifesto.

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David Stern, MD

This is very interesting. Companies can use social media to create communities or customer service channels. I assume that communities will allow customers to interact and help each other, but it may create a common place to criticize the company. Creating a customer service channel, however, will lose the camaraderie of interactivity of a community. Next questions are: 1) How to decide what is best for your company and 2) How to create a community vs. a customer service channel. In our industry, urgent care, we already have a robust community, so it may make sense to augment the community with our social media. Thoughts?

Tari Akpodiete

then there are companies which firmly believe that a community manager is first and foremost an arm of marketing. that's not to say that a community manager might not sometimes do some marketing, but i don't believe that should be a primary function. and i suspect that when it does so end up as such, there's a lack of trust and even some suspicion from the community in the community manager's role.

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