I recently wrote a post about the fact that community management comes with a new kind of stress.

It’s a different type of stress that many of us have not experienced in previous positions. There were quite a few interesting comments on that post and all were empathetic.

Emersondirect wrote: “The problem is, that your users have no such accountability and if they did, would not behave that way.”

Mark O. wrote: “I’ve been the Community Manager for Buzznet for a while now and I can’t even begin to list or explain the abuse I’ve gotten from people. Harassment, hundreds of angry emails, death threats, homophobic rants…”

And in reference to the various types of stress described in the post, Steph wrote: “I think you just described my life at the end there…”

That brings me to this. Today I received an e-mail from a user who called me the “n-word.” But it wasn’t just the n-word. After that, came the “b-word.” I guess she was trying to kill two birds with one stone. I am not blogging about this for sympathy because I don’t need it. I don’t need it because I give her words no power.

I’m blogging about this because it further indicates how far people will go under the cloak of anonymity. It also gives me the fuel to keep building my community because there are people out there, like this woman (who is masquerading as a man in the e-mail) who desperately want to see it fail and live to wreak havoc on the members who make it a good place.

Am I a little miffed? Somewhat. But, I’m more annoyed than anything. That isn’t something you expect to have to deal with or see, particularly in the workplace. But, life goes on, and I’ll continue to do what I do, and do it well.

Flickr community manager Heather Champ got it right when she said this: Being a community manager is like being a pinata. People beat you with sticks and you still have to give them candy.

I couldn’t agree more.

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