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General: AGDC Panel: Community 101

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member Common's Community Manager, Laura Genender, attended one of the AGDC panels headed by: Cindy Bowens, past Community Manager for Sigil and current Consultant for Seashadow Consulting; Craig Dalrymple, Community Relations Manager for EverQuest II and today's panel moderator; Kelly Knox, past Community Manager for Lineage II and current Community Manager for Sony Online Entertainment; Victor Wachter, Online Community Relations Manager for Cryptic Studios; and Sanya Weathers, Director of Community for Guild Caf

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 8,156Member Rare

    Definition of a community manager:  Front person to put a good spin on all the problems while they have little influence over what the designers do.

    The sad thing is they probably have a better idea of what the playerbase wants, but are largely ignored.  Fancy that.

    Take Sanya for example with DAoC.  She well knew that the Trials of Atlantis was a major disaster, yet the designers completely ignored her when it came to toning it down.  I hope she writes a book someday about how not to ignore the community manger.

  • TaeraTaera Community Manager Austin, TXPosts: 1,078Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    Definition of a community manager:  Front person to put a good spin on all the problems while they have little influence over what the designers do.
    The sad thing is they probably have a better idea of what the playerbase wants, but are largely ignored.  Fancy that.

    They're starting to get some notice from developers :) 

    Laura "Taera" Genender
    Community Manager

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 8,156Member Rare

    I truely hope that is true Taera :).

  • AlacarthAlacarth Ottawa, ONPosts: 6Member

    Interesting read, always nice to see what happens behind the scenes ...


    One thing I was curious about, though, is how they deal with the daily abuse...


  • SteakpuncherSteakpuncher LondonderryPosts: 255Member

    A community manager is probably like the "tank" in the gaming world, the person who has to keep everyone else in check while they try to make themselves heard and make an impact (aggro) and when something goes wrong, they are the first to get all the flak for it.

    Id say the worst thing a gaming CM would have to deal with, is when they are asked to address the community and give them some "cool" info that doesn't make it into the launch/game, because the users go straight for the messenger with their "But CM*name* said it was going to be in s/he was wrong, its their fault"

    As for how people deal with abuse, I guess everyone handles it differently, when I ran my own forums I would get abuse from a lot of people, many of them friends I had made who didn't like being asked to stay in line. Most of the time I would try to ignore it, because you know most people don't mean what they say, and just say it because they are angry about something. Focusing on how you will feel after you succesfully resolve and defuse an issue not only helps calm you down, but also gives you the motivation to deal with the situation.


  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,377Member Uncommon

    As an MMO consumer, I don't want to be "managed."  If they want to manage me, they can pay me.

    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • FlummoxedFlummoxed San Jose, CAPosts: 591Member

    Managing a Community is a Marketing and Public Relations job.

    Which means that they're going to be 'managing' ie manipulating opinion in a direction that's favorable to the company employing them.  Corporations hire such people to spin news and events in a particular direction, not just dispense neutral facts about the product or service.

    Example - Karl Rove was the "Community Manager" for the Bush administration. 

  • DomenicusDomenicus sampaPosts: 290Member Uncommon

    Who is Karl Rover?!?!?!

    Although I do know Bush (the guy who looks like Alfred E. Neuman and which Peter Sellers based his ´Clouseu´ character)

  • WanklerWankler Tahoe, CAPosts: 60Member

    "Victor tries to keep the developers off the boards altogether"

    I think that's part of the problem with today's MMO's,  by the time the developers see it, it's been washed and sanatized through a Community Manager, The Marketing Department, and various and other sundry non-developer types.

    That's been  problem I've seen with MMO's as of late.  The developers don't seem to be plugged in to what the players want, so things that really need fixing don't get the attention they need,  and instead we as players,  get un-needed features or complete re-writes, in some cases. There are a few exceptions.

    If the developers were more plugged in to the communities, we'd have much better games coming out.

    IMO a community manager should be more of a facilitator than a filter.

    I would make the forums required reading for the developers.  I think allowing developers to respond freely is another topic altogether, but I would add to the list

    * Make sure that the development team understands clearly what the community wants.


    My 2 cents.


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