Community Manager Or Gallery Manager?
When you dare to curate, remarkable stories happen.
Not long ago I was asked — in what I considered a hostile tone thank you very much — how I define “Community.”
That’s a bit of a red herring because it’s not *really* about how any one person might define community — it’s really about how your community does. Or least it should be, and the distinction is more than mere semantics.
My answer then — and I’m sticking to this — is that community is where you receive something you need and contribute in kind. Sometimes it’s a little more taking, other times it’s a little more giving. Never onerous or shady, it’s a joy to be there adding your own special twist.
Having managed communities for diverse groups — PR professionals, data scientists, urban planners, LOB influencers (you knew I had to include this term), and culinary enthusiasts — I have a good idea of the care and cultivation required for niche communities to grow and prosper.
It’s a delicate balance of curating content, providing narratives, sourcing contributors, cultivating business relationships, generating publicity — all while fostering just the right backdrop for storytelling. A blend of art and science, it’s actually like managing an art gallery.
We could debate the merits of a “walled garden” or an open and optimized destination — much like the public or private gallery — that’s a strategic decision informed by audience needs.
And it’s more than hanging any single picture upon the wall and calling that a community show. A successful community framework requires contributors creating a dynamic and rewarding — maybe even lucrative — narrative.
Whether developing a community or curating a show, great stories happen to those who create them.