On the web, the distinction between journalist and audience is becoming blurry. Con-tent found on online news sites is increasingly created by both staff writers and community members. Some major media outlets are beginning to understand that commenters and readers add real value, and are including the best comments as part of their in-house articles. In a future where writers are users and users are writ-ers, having someone in charge of encouraging and curating the best user-made con-tent will mean the difference between an exceptional and a mediocre media proper-ty.

The online community manager acts as a point of contact between the comment-ers and the writers or content producers of large websites. A community manager is responsible for the health and direction of an online community. While they perform the standard duties of online moderators, they also make sure that the concerns of users are well represented in the site content. The online community manager may bring together site owners and site users by organizing various online events. These may include user-led interviews with famous people, or the creation of open-ended posts that invite stimulating conversation among commenters.

Job Requirements / Skills

In addition to broad social media skills, community managers have a skill for public relations and communications. Their technical strengths include an eye for talent, the ability to guide conversations among a variety of contributors, and the ability to han-dle difficult or conflicting opinions. They have a strong desire to make sure everyone is heard, without letting anyone bully anyone else. This generally comes from a pas-sion for engaging and growing communities.