Community managers are constantly multi-tasking. From creating content, to encouraging more user interaction and stroking a few egos along the way, it often feels like your work is never done.

There’s some truth to that actually, because if your goal is to grow a community, that job will essentially never end. While it is of the utmost importance to keep the community clean and within your guidelines, you decide how you will make that happen. You can do it by force, with kindness and tact, or with some combination of three. It’s all about what works for you and the effect it has on the community overall.

I ran across a blogpost today called: The Challenge of Policing Online Communities, and I must ay that I completely balked at the title.

First of all, I don’t “police” my community. There are certainly days when I feel like a police captain banning problem users and busting up troll compounds. And there are also days when I feel like a rookie who just can’t get a break. But those days are much fewer in number than the days I thoroughly enjoy watching the fruits of my labor.

That is called “managing” the community. When you have a passion for your members and your community, you “manage” it. You cultivate it. You don’t “police” it.

I would never characterize my role that way. It makes it sound like a chore. And isn’t policing anything inherently a challenge?

Our words can be self-fulfilling prophecies. If you consider what you’re doing “policing” then that is what it will always be. You will always be in search of offenders and the good guys will simply pass you by.

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