Some community managers are 100% reactive. Their job descriptions are written by busy bosses who view the community as a series of problems that need to be dealt with. Comments need to be removed, naughty users need to be scolded, technical elements updated and reports need to be submitted.
Some community managers do a good job living up to their job descriptions. These good community managers find themselves lowly paid, easily replaceable and often forced to take on additional work (see community manager/marketing coordinator jobs).
Other community managers focus on developing their community, not maintaining it. These community managers are linchpins. They go beyond their description. They arrange VIP guest chats, identify and bring in stragglers, arrange offline meets, fight for community exclusives and brush up on their social psychology knowledge. They become good friends with members and help them in personal ways.
Seth’s new book wont help community managers who need a map to do any of the above. It will help you understand that the job description you have probably isn’t relevant to your job. You need to write your own job description and do what only you know is best for your online community.
Top community managers are indispensable. They’re impossible to fire without losing the community too. They’re highly paid and well recognized. It’s a rapidly growing field. If you want job safety in a tricky market, this book is a good place to start.
Disclosure: I worked with Seth/Squidoo for 3 months in 2008.