Essential reading for online community managers

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A good friend of mine started a new job for the new year – working in social media for a UK charity. She asked me what reading I could recommend for somebody looking to learn more about online communities and how they can be launched and grown. There are a whole range of great books out there on how social media is used and the impact this is having on society (anything by Gladwell or Shirky would be a great starting point), but she was interested specifically in things that help managing and growing communities online.

Here’s the very short list I shared with her (and a few extra ones added in). There are many great books, articles and blogs out there and we’d love you to share your favourites in the comments below. But this is a good starting point and we would consider them essential reading for online community managers.

Books

  • Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, Amy Jo Kim (Amazon) – a great text explaining the how to grow online communities, and explaining through examples why they grow like this.
  • Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards, Patrick O’Keefe (Amazon) – another great textbook of how to set-up and manage online forums and discussion boards.
  • 18 Rules of Community Engagement: A Guide for Building Relationships and Connecting With Customers Online, Angela Connor (Amazon) – a pragmatic approach to planning and building online communities, you can read our review of this book here.

Blogs

Articles

This is purposefully a short list – what would you add to it? Let us know your essential reading in the comments below.

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11 Responses
  • Jan 5, 2010

    I haven’t read it but a number of people have recently recommended Art of Community Online by Jono Bacon – you can actually download it for free http://www.artofcommunityonline.org/ but it’s also available as a proper book.

    Grumblemouse Jan 5, 2010
    Reply
  • Jan 5, 2010

    Thanks so much for the mention and kind words, Mr. Rhodes. I really appreciate it.

    Patrick

    Patrick Jan 5, 2010
    Reply
  • Jan 6, 2010

    Jenny Preece, Online Communities (Designing Usability, Supporting sociability) Amazon link This is quite a heavyweight book, which looks at communities from a design/usability perspective. Although some of the context is dated, the thinking isn’t, especially on topics like evaluation. Good reference book.

    Gilly Salmon, E-Moderating. (Amazon link This book is written from the perspective of online teaching, but this and her other titles are absolute gold for someone thinking about moderating a productive community. It’s also good for someone who is supervising/mentoring other community managers.

    Alison Macleod Jan 6, 2010
    Reply
  • Marketinginnovatie.org » Blog Archive » Online communities worden in crisis belangrijker voor bedrijven
    Jan 6, 2010

    [...] Essential reading for online community managers (freshnetworks.com) Stem of voeg toe aan :   [...]

    Marketinginnovatie.org » Blog Archive » Online communities worden in crisis belangrijker voor bedrijven Jan 6, 2010
    Reply
  • Christopher Lomas
    Jan 6, 2010

    Marketing to the Social Web: How digital customer communities build your business. By Larry Weber
    ISBN: 978 0 470 12417 8. At 15.99 perhaps a little on the top end of what you might consider a quick-flick book on how to do communities online, but its much more than that. Mine has red tabs all over it. A great read.

    Christopher Lomas Jan 6, 2010
    Reply
  • Conviertete en un online Community Managers | Adtribe
    Jan 6, 2010

    [...] Fresh Networks acaba de recomendar un interesante listado de libros, blogs y artículos que puedes leer si quieres convertite en un online community managers. [...]

    Conviertete en un online Community Managers | Adtribe Jan 6, 2010
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  • Jan 6, 2010

    Thanks for recommending my blog, Matt – I’m flattered. One book I would recommend for design/usability issues is ‘Designing for the Social Web’ by Joshua Porter.

    Martin Reed Jan 6, 2010
    Reply
  • Jan 7, 2010

    Another good resource is Nancy White’s:

    Communities and Networks Connection

    Tony Karrer Jan 7, 2010
    Reply
  • Footprints (07.01.10) | Chris Deary
    Jan 7, 2010

    [...] Essential reading for online community managers [...]

    Footprints (07.01.10) | Chris Deary Jan 7, 2010
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  • Jan 7, 2010

    Thanks for thinking highly enough of my book to share it with your readers!
    Happy New Year. This is the year of the Community Manager!

    Angela Connor Jan 7, 2010
    Reply
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