Community Manager Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Monday of January. It was created by Jeremiah Owyang in 2010 as a way to recognize the efforts of community managers globally. The life of a community manager is a hectic one — endless monitoring, conversation after conversation, and nonstop content creation. There’s a saying: “Social media never sleeps, and neither do community managers”. That’s why on this day, we celebrate community managers and vendors in the social media marketplace post blogs in appreciation of their hard work and dedication.
History of Community Manager Appreciation Day
Some of you might be wondering “What exactly is a community manager?” It’s actually a relatively new term. The earliest recognized origin of the role itself only dates back to the 1990s. Originally referred to as Sysops, this role began as online systems first offered features and functions that allowed for community creation. Sysops were responsible for operating the bulletin board in software systems and effectively the growth of mainstream online computer services like Prodigy and America Online. These communities took on many names but largely were identified as Special Interest Groups. Their leaders were often referred to as Community Leaders.
Each Network has a purpose and it is the Community Manager’s job to maintain focus. As online communities have developed, so has the responsibilities of the Community Manager. They are responsible for branded online communities, online research communities, corporate blogs, social media marketing, and research activities. Today the demand has expanded to an even wider variety of responsibilities and skill-sets including product support and development, PR, and customer support all while maintaining open communications between the developer and the community.
Community managers aren’t just about their business, they’re about developing a community around a shared appreciation for a product. They are also dedicated to assisting in improving their product, they’re the guy (or gal) that listens to the fan-base, reports back to the higher-ups and gets them to listen. Their entire goal is to connect people and build them something they all want. Community managers allow for personalization, they build relationships and empower consumers, and we think that’s pretty noble.
Someone who stands up for the little guys definitely deserves a day of recognition. So if you’re a part of an online community, make sure to throw a shout-out to your community managers and let them know you appreciate them.