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Community Managers: Where We Came From

Posted Nov 17, 2009 by Jon Wood

Community Managers: Where We Came From columnist Victor Wachter, no stranger to the world of Community Management, writes this look at the job, its history and what it takes to succeed.

An MMO is a big beast with thousands of players and as many different playstyles. You can open forums and twitter pages and whatnot and people will come to discuss your game, guaranteed. Left unmanaged, the community will grow like kudzu: rapidly and unhealthy for the larger environment. Community growth is a good thing, of course, but when it revolves around a business, it has to be cultivated and managed carefully, or the resulting conversations from that communicating could do more harm than good.

In the early days of the Internet, there were far fewer outlets for communities to form than today. You'd primarily find them on usenet, IRC or smaller BBS'. The fansite back then was typically a geocities page with a few low-res screenshots. They grew organically, and just like today, they talked about games. They talked about what they did in the game, their opinions of it and gave advice on how to play it. And they flamed. Oh, did they ever flame.

Read Community Managers: Where We Came From.