June 08, 2021

The future of professional community roles

topics: careers, trends
Rosie Sherry
I've never liked the job title 'community manager', but until recently it felt like there weren't any other serious ways to explain my role.

The deeper issue is how much the industry has relied on the title 'community manager' for so long. As an industry it's like we didn't deserve anything else, until now, at least.

There is definitely a trend on how this is changing, not only with people requesting to push new titles, but also widening the scopes of what community roles actually do.

Here are some crowdsourced options on community job titles:

  • community lead
  • community advocate
  • community builder
  • community architect
  • community gardener
  • community designer
  • community operations
  • tummler 
  • community artisan
  • community influencer
  • community organzier
  • community champion
  • Mayor of Community
  • community wizard
  • community queen
  • community strategeist
  • community coordinator
  • community development
  • community connector
  • community developer
  • community seeder
  • community enabler

There may be a danger to get too specific with roles, of course this is very much dependent on team size and resources available to them. It is very much the case that one person will be responsible for many of these roles.

  • Community Conversations Designer: design, create, grow and analyze the conversations that need to be happening. We need conversational specialists ❤️
  • Community Engagement: overseeing, designing and driving engagement across platforms, customers and events.
  • Community Design: a focus on the product and design of the community. Branding as a whole, but with more of a community focus. What kind of things do communities need and expect from a design perspective?
  • Community UX: considers the user experience as a whole, from content, onboarding, emails, inclusivity, technology, etc.
  • Community Learning: building in varied ways of delivering learning opportunities. From courses, to conversations, to events. The list is almost endless.
  • Community Curators & Gardeners: curating is a skill within itself and can overlap with community learning.
  • Community Events: event professionals need to learn how to become more community focused, and community professionals need to learn how to get better at creating great events. Async or real time, anything from one-to-one conversations, meetups, cohorts, conferences, etc.
  • Community Operations: responsibility for all the day to day needs of a community. The tools. The laws. The processes. Data and reports.
  • Community Growth: tasked with growing in a community focused way. We need to define and refine better ways of growing communities.
  • Community Analyst: tasked with tracking and reporting on the conversations, engagement, and impact these have on the mission and organization.

—Rosie Sherry