This is another rant from the trenches. If you’re not in the mood, perhaps you should come back to this one later. I probably received 25 emails last week from members of my community about the most petty issues.

There are times when I feel like a real babysitter and I have to tell you that before I took my vacation back in August, I was at risk of completely losing it. I found myself so caught up in what I felt at the time was my inability to reign in trolls and the sheer nonsense that was taking place within the community that I could scream. Actually I think I did scream something like “I hate these people.” I certainly don’t hate the community, but I am beginning to wonder if there is some kind of breaking point or designated period of time when it just burns you out and you need to do something else.

I’ve said many times that this is no job for the weary, and weary I am not. But tired, I am becoming. I know that not every community manager will experience this because no two communities are the same. And depending on the makeup of your community, you may never feel this way. Many members of the community I manage have no idea how bad it can really be on the internet. Some are hyper-sensitive and believe that any comment that isn’t in line with their beliefs should be marked as abuse. They meet one another offline and bring innuendo back into the community based on these meetings and expect me to intervene as if I have knowledge of what happens outside of the community.

I’ve made it very clear that I don’t want the back story and will manage the content based on what I see on the surface.

One woman told me that another member has threatened to call her job and inform them of how much time she spends interacting in the community during the day. I feel bad for her, but she’s the one who told her where she works. That is not my problem. And in all fairness it is not a reason for me to ban her because she hasn’t violated our TOS, at least not on the site. Another user is up in arms about someone implying that he is a communist and wants me to deal with it right away.

Someone else says an online foe is stalking their comments and following them around commenting on every blog they comment on. I’m also dealing with claims of what is supposedly a rogue group that targets specific members. It has gotten so bad that I had to address the issue in a blog post last week that made me feel like a middle school teacher.  I swear it gets so very childish and last week really took its toll. If you ever want to see some of this for yourself, read the comments on my profile page.  There are some nice comments there, but also some real doozies. Okay, I feel better already. Next week has to be better.

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