Posted by: Andrew Hemingway | November 10, 2009

Online Community Management lessons from the Shepherd


Shepherd with sheep. Nazareth Village.Being a shepherd is not an easy job. There are long hot days, and lonely, sleepless nights under the stars. There are the constant dangers of keeping your flock from the always present wolves, or bears. The shepherd has to walk miles and miles everyday, and must be ready at a moments notice to protect his sheep from becoming prey. He has a very difficult job, but it is a job that someone must do in order to deliver the sheep on time to market for shearing.

The online community manager has much the same job. They are tasked with leading their community, protecting their community, and growing their community. They must also do this with in the bounds of the corporate structure and all the red tape that entails. This is a very challenging job, and one that many are not suited to take on. There are however a few brave enough, and few smart enough, and a few savvy enough to wade into these waters and not drown.

In the following posts, I am going to be laying out for you lessons learned from shepherding that apply directly to the Online community Manager of today. It is a wonderful picture, using lessons from the oldest known profession (no it is not prostitution), and applying them to the latest technology of today.

This is going to be a great ride, and I hope that as we go you will become a better manager by learning from the Shepherd.

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