Community management in journalism and beyond…

There’s a million “how to run a successful online community” posts out there claiming to know the sure fire way to ensure the community you’ve put so much time and effort into is fruitful in the long run.

Most of these repeat each other and it all gets rather tenuous trawling through such posts to find anything new and enlightening.

To try and illiminate this, we’ve produced three wordle clouds to provide an at-a-glance look at what these tips centre around.[Click the images to see enlarged versions]

First up is Jolie O’Dell’s 10 Fresh Tips for Community Managers on Mashable:

Wordle: 10 Fresh Tips for Community Managers

Then we have The 10 Golden Rules of Community Management by Beth Tucker via Antler:
Wordle: 10 Golden Rules of Community Management

And finally, there’s Matt Owen’s  The Golden Rules of Community Management at EConsultancy:

Wordle: The Golden Rules of Community Management

As expected, ‘community’ is what crops up most, but if we look at the other most common words aside from this, we are given a better reflection of what they’re saying.

With O’Dell’s we’ve got ‘users’, ‘need’ and ‘brand’.

For Tucker, we have ‘content’, ‘consumers’ and ‘engagement’.

In Owen’s post, we see ‘content’, ‘users’ and ‘sure’ (obviously, a simple word test such as this can fall short, depending on the author’s writing style and knowledge of SEO).

So what do these all show us?

The answer: Not a lot.

OK, ‘content’ comes up a fair bit, and with any web venture, that is going to be important, and among the smaller words in the clouds we have lots of social references, and different names for members of the community, be these users, consumers, or simply, people.

It just shows how different people interpret ‘success’ in community management, which is usually dependent on the strategy’s aims in the first place.

So, take a closer look at the clouds, and see what’s coming up over and over again, and see whether this can be applied to your own community.

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