Posted by: Andrew Hemingway | November 29, 2009

Community Manager Burnout…?

In the last 4 days I have eaten more turkey than ever before. I had it the night before Thanksgiving, for Thanksgiving, later in the day Thanksgiving, the next day for Breakfast and lunch, and on Saturday. I have Turkey burnout! It got me thinking about community managers, and burnout.

Are you a community manager suffering from burnout? Here is how to avoid burnout:

  1. Renew your passion– You have to be constantly renewing your passion for working in a community. You have to be reading, writing, attending conferences, meeting other managers, commiserating with them about daily challenges, and just finding your place to vent and renew. There are a lot of great places out there to do this, but I want to point you to one particular group that is outstanding. The Community Roundtable is a GREAT place for community managers to be a part of. There are great resources, and even better people. Always new thought leading information and valuable insight into community Management. Go and join today…you will not be sorry!
  2. Trust your moderators– If you have a community of any size you need to find and use moderators. If you do not trust your moderators to do their job, then they should not be moderators. You need to give your moderators boundaries and clear instruction, and then leave them alone. Let them work and trust them. You need to be able to step away at times, and to just let all the work go. In order to do this, you must have moderators. If you are the type of person that can just not give up any control- choose another profession, or prepare for failure. Choose them, and use them.
  3. Have fun– I know this one is used so much, but think about the opportunity that you have as a manager to facilitate the connections of thousands of people. You are responsible for friendships, and maybe marriages. You are in a great position doing a great work, and it is fun! It really is…do not forget that, and when you do visit my blog again!

I have turkey burnout…You must take care of your self as a manager to not get burnt out!




  1. Thanks for the shout out Andrew and I couldn’t agree more. As a community manager it is really easy to get burned out if you don’t take some time to renew yourself – connecting with other community managers, reading… and sometimes eating too much turkey with your family šŸ™‚

    • Rachel,

      Thank you so much for jumping in this conversation.


  2. Maybe im lucky to be English & dont have to do the Turkey bit then!!

    Sounds like as a Community Manager you really have to take time for yourself!

    Do a lot of Community Managers work from home? I am at my Company Offices at the moment, but as of next month, I will be working from home. Visiting my Company on a monthly basis.

  3. Absolutely, on the moderator bit! I’ve seen more community managers succumb to burnout because they thought everything was an emergency that needed to be handled NOW, and because they thought that every single forum post that needed to be moderated and wasn’t within 5 minutes was cause for alarm.

    Or they got so involved in moderating that they became the “bad guy” within the community, and wasted some of their coolness factor by becoming “that guy that banned me”, instead of “that guy that gives us neat stuff”.

    As a forum administrator, I’d much rather have the community manager be interacting and buddying up with the users, and letting the moderators take the flack for the day-to-day moderating tasks that some users inevitably will object to. It helps them last so much longer, and takes the some of the sting out of any bad news they have to deliver. If users are already upset with them about the little things, it can make a relatively small problem seem larger than it might otherwise, and a large problem can quickly balloon out of control.

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