News Organizations and Community Managers

November 29, 2013Comments Off on News Organizations and Community Managers

'News organizations are increasingly looking for community managers.'

Are they? I'm not so sure. 

If news organizations are looking for people to create a genuine sense of community around their topic, then this might be true. Whisky magazinePCGamer magazine (former employer), and, to a lesser extent, The Economist, do this very well.

These magazines have people responsible for fostering genuine relationships between members, organizing events for the audience, subtly influencing the discussions, moderation, building up stars, documenting the best material, creating content about the community. 

These are typically the exceptions. 

Many news organizations (Daily Mail, Guardian, BBC News, CNN, FoxNews, HuffingtonPost) have highly active commenting areas "have your say!" - but very little in the way of a community. They attract online audiences, crowds, and, occasionally, mobs. 

News organizations don't want community managers. They want very good moderators. They want people to remove the bad stuff before they become legally liable. There is no shame in this. It's just a very different game compare with community management. Moderation is a maths and efficiency game. 

News organizations, like FoxNews, could begin hosting live Q&As with their writers, hosting regular offline events in different cities, finding and building stars within their field, initiating discussions around difficult topics, breaking the mass of people into smaller sub-groups, and documenting the history and achievements of the community.

They could become the epicenter for everything and everyone that matters within their field. 

Moderation and community management are two very different things. 

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