Posted by: Andrew Hemingway | November 20, 2009

Every flock has a shepherd

Sheep are great animals! What is so interesting is how they are so much like humans. I know monkeys are supposed to be our ancestors, but sheep really are so much like us it is a little scary. I guess for a scientist to try to explain how we evolved from a sheep is a little farther stretch than from a monkey so…I can understand that.

Sheep need to be in groups, they need to belong. Yesterday in a conversation that I will be posting later Mark Sylvester and I discussed how community is predicated upon the sense of an individual and their sense of “belonging”.  Sheep are the same, you cannot raise just one at a time. Many of the leading shepherds say that sheep need to be raised in small flocks for best results.

As Humans we have an innate desire to belong to something, to “find our place”. We all have it, and it is a powerful force when considering online communities. But in this post I want to talk about an outside force that helps to foster this sense of belonging and helps to grow the flock.

Every flock needs a shepherd. It is true, sheep left to themselves normally end up dead, injured, or  lost. Sheep by themselves are really self-destructive animals. A shepherd is needed to help the sheep to protect the sheep and to nurture the sheep. It is the shepherd that decides when a new sheep is added to the flock, and it is the shepherd that decides when to move the flock. And on it goes…I hope that you can see where this is going.

As a community manager our job is to help our members, protect our members, and nurture our members. To provide for them a comfortable place for them to interact and connect with one another. These things cannot happen with out a manager, and they cannot happen well without a highly skilled manager.

You would never leave your sheep to roam free, this should be your philosophy with your community members. Find a good community manager and you will be amazed at the results.

Need help finding a Community Manager? Let me know!


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