If you follow me on Twitter you know that I spent most of the day at the Social Media Business Forum. Actually I am still here. I am sitting in the second to last row at the Blogger Relations panel with Lucretia Pruitt, Ilina Ewen and Kelby Carr. It has been a really good conference so far.

I attended a session earlier today on Building and Managing an Online Community with panelists Patrick OKeefe, author of Managing Online Forums Laurie Smithwick of Kirtsy and Ryan Boyles.

During that session I commented during a question I asked that you are not a community manager until you have dealt with trolls who threaten to bomb your car. That was re-tweeted quite a bit and even called the tweet of the day, by Gregory Ng.

But the thing is, I am dead serious. My issue is the casual use of the title “community manager” that now somehow encompasses  customer service reps and anyone who monitors a brand on twitter or creates and manages a Facebook fan page. Yes, you are reaching out and even communicating with the community but that is not enough.

Until you have been in the depths of this craft by nurturing and growing the community, reaching out to influencers, contributing massive amounts of content, dealing with relentless trolls and working hard to be an advocate of the community to bosses who may not necessarily understand what your work entails, I am not going to acknowledge you as a community manager.

There are many of us who take this work seriously and are put to task on a daily basis dealing with all that comes our way. And it is not pretty.

Laurie Smithwick answered my question saying that people like us need to hunker down and just do what we do and it will all  be clear in the end.

We are still in the very early days of social media and this is going to happen so I really need to just get over it. But right now, I find it annoying. I will hunker down next month.

For complete coverage of the Social Media Business Forum, search the hashtag #smbf. I also have a few photos on Flickr.

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