Ryan Rutan

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day ... Who Do You Appreciate?

Blog Post created by Ryan Rutan on Jan 23, 2012

Well folks, its that time of year again. That's right, recovery from an action-packed triple-header of festivities honoring some of the most cherished holidays in modern civilization. By that, of course, I mean Squirrel Appreciation Day, National Hug Day, and Answer Your Cat's Questions Day! What ... never heard of them? You mean you haven't spent the last 48 hours hugging and consoling a cat while observing, with teary-eyed majesty, the art of squirrel nut hoarding?  Really??? Well, that just means you're well rested to celebrate a holiday that's rocking the charts. Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day!



Community Manager Appreciation Day takes place every 4th Monday of January as a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts of community managers around the world using social media to improve customer experiences.


Jeremiah Owyang initiated this international event in 2010.[1] People are encouraged to send sincere Thank You notes to their online community managers. People using Twitter include the #CMAD and #CMGR hashtag in their tweets about this event. Many online community managers and vendors in the social media marketplace post blogs in appreciation of their community managers. Cities with large concentrations of Social Media focused businesses, such as Boston, Austin, and San Francisco hold in-person meetup events to celebrate and honor those who represent and support their online communities.


Reference: Wikipedia


Community Manager Appreciation Day at Jive

Here at Jive we take Community Manager Appreciation Day (or #CMAD) pretty seriously! We have to-- we have TWO Community Managers! But that's something that you might not have known. While I am responsible for Jive's external community, my counterpart, kristina is the Community Manager for Jive's employee community, known as Brewspace. She has been with Jive for almost 4 years and has been doing a stellar job keeping our community healthy, employees productive, and dodging praise for her efforts every chance she gets.  (Sorry Kristina, cant dodge a holiday)


This year for cmad, Kristina and I wanted to celebrate by sharing with you a little about who we are and our takes on community management. In the end, we see this day as an opportunity to promote the awareness and relevance of the community manager position in the modern enterprise and how it should be seen as a strategic investment for social businesses. So without further ado, here they are ... the Jive Community Managers:





Jive Internal Community Manager

Born and raised in southern California, now enduring wet Vans in rainy Portland. Worked in support for 12 years before moving to community management.





Author:  Truman Capote

AdviceAnimal: Paranoid Parrot

TV Series: NewsRadio; Party Down; Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist


What inspires you in your job every day?

Primarily, it's the people I work with. Secondary are the rewards of carrying out projects and day to day tasks: creating order, being a trusted advisor, helping individuals and departments use our site effectively, helping to hang onto the small-company culture as we grow.


Do you feel you manage a community, or do they manage you?

Both. Your community's purpose and goals should be defined, but I am one of the users as much (or moreso) as I am the manager. There are certainly things I will make decisions about alone or with a smaller group, but if it's in Jivers' best interest to decide together or provide feedback about, I'll throw it out there. For instance, I am making decisions about non-departmental/"public" places, but when it came time to update our internal use guidelines, I wrote the draft but posted it for feedback to make sure they were representative of how we use Brewspace and how we want everyone to use Brewspace.


Ultimately, we are all here to work, so it must be an environment that gets people connected to the resources they need to get their jobs done.


If you could share one piece of feedback, on what it takes to be a successful Community Manager...what would it be?

Demonstrate desired behavior. To me that means living our community guidelines every day: Participate, Represent, Be open, Drive, Recognize others, Keep perspective, Know its limits.


Know your users and make it easy for them to get to know each other. Understand who they are as individuals, not as employee #3984. In your community, create ways for people to be comfortable with sharing who they are so others can get to know them too.



Ryan Rutan

Jive External Community Manager

Family.  Native Texan.  Technology.  Nerd.  Extrovert.   Business.  Strategy.  Nerd.  Theatre.  Enabler of the Impossible!  Nerd.  Sandwiches.


Hashtag: cmadrun, whoneedsaspacebar

TV Series:  Sports Night, Firefly

Movie(s): Shawshank RedemptionThe Power of One


What inspires you in your job every day?

I see the enterprise standing at the precipice of a monumental decision to adopt social business.  Helping cultivate success stories and being both a business and technology thought-leader are my ways to usher in this new way to business.  Plus, I really enjoy meeting people on the front-lines, and knowing that I make a difference.  callmecrazy, but I think there might just be something to this whole notion of making it financially justifiable for companies to invest in their employee's morale, and see exponential returns in productivity and innovation.


Do you feel you manage a community, or do they manage you?

I agree with Kristina on this one, definitely both.  Its a constant balancing act of promoting what you want in a community, and listening to what the customers want, while taking that feedback, and merging the two together to maintain a unified vision.  If you choose just one or the other, you risk becoming irrelevant, and that is the kiss of death for any community.


If you could share one piece of feedback, on what it takes to be a successful Community Manager...what would it be?

Walk the walk.  Plain and simple.  Be the example your customers follow, and inspire them to participate, do not "expect" and most certainly do not demand.  And to echo Kristina's point, be genuinely interested in the person behind the username.


On this day, Kristina, myself, and all other Jivers say: Thank You to ALL Community Managers ... you are truly appreciated! cmad


If there is a Community Manager you would like to publicly recognize for their efforts, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post giving praise.  Or better yet, tweet it!

"Happy #cmad, ... #cmgr #socbiz @JiveSoftware - http://bit.ly/yEcsnv

click here to tweet

If you are interested in learning more about the role a Community Manager plays in the enterprise, please visit The Community Roundtable.