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Key Observations on Community Management from Rachel Happe
Colleen Burns    

The 2012 State of Community Management Points to the Maturing of Social Business

By Rachel Happe, Co-Founder and Principal
The Community Roundtable


In today's connected world, organizations of all sizes, in a variety of industries - from banking institutions to non-profits and even governments - are engaging in online conversations. These conversations are extending and igniting activism, forcing organizations to alter decisions about products, policies and leadership. Networked communication environments are creating unprecedented opportunities for individuals and groups to be heard and every organization should be paying attention.


The speed of information access and distribution, fueled by cheap and pervasive technology, is driving a profound need to change our organizations and management approaches. Social business is an effort to make organizations more humane, adaptive and resilient in order to mitigate risks and address new opportunities. At its core, social business is about optimizing our human resources, which are now the most critical and expensive asset in organizations.


At The Community Roundtable we work with a wide range of organizations that are taking a proactive approach to building online communities. Together we are learning how to apply community management principals to these networked communications environments. By taking a community approach, organizations are both mitigating the risk of an online uprising and allowing the speed of markets to pour into and across their organizations, resulting in faster support and innovation cycles.


In our recently released 2012 State of Community Management report we've compiled what we have learned with our member organizations over the last year. Some of the key trends we've observed are:


  • The mainstream adoption of social media tools for individuals is adding to the overload and confusion around how organizations can best use those same tools
  • The discipline of community management is maturing with many more resources and training programs available
  • Internal employee communities are one of the fastest growing areas in the online community space
  • Technology continues to be a critical driver but making technology the primary focus is a risky approach
  • Early online community leaders are in a unique position to understand and help organizations adopt social business practices


The report also includes detailed information about the artifacts, patterns and initiatives we seeing organizations adopting as they mature in their use of social business - providing a valuable reference resource for social business and community leaders. You can download the report below.

Rachel Happe (@rhappe) is a Co-Founder and Principal at The Community Roundtable, a company dedicated to advancing the business of community. The Community Roundtable provides education, training, and advisory services to community and social business leaders.


Rachel has over fifteen years of experience working with emerging technologies including enterprise social networking, eCommerce, and enterprise software applications. Rachel has served as a product executive at Mzinga, Bitpass, & IDe, and as IDC’s first analyst covering social technologies. She started her business career as an analyst at PRTM. Rachel serves on Social Media Today’s Blogger Board, the Enterprise 2.0 Conference Advisory Board, and as an Isis Parenting Fellow. She writes at http://www.informationweek.com/thebrainyard

Apr 10, 2012
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