Today is #CMAD or Community Manager Appreciation Day. It takes place every 4th Monday of January, and is meant to recognize and celebrate the efforts of community managers. In fact, it dates back to 2010, when Jeremiah Owyang wrote this.
Since the release of this post, there have been many developments, not only in the community space, but also for community managers themselves.. Most memorable to me will be the crew at CMGR Hangout and friends, such as Jonathan Brewer, Tim McDonald, Sherrie Rohde, Dom Garrett and sadly the recently passed Christin Kardos. They would do 12+ hours of community content every year. It was a hearty celebration of community work, but more importantly, it was an event organically created by community managers coming together to share. Moreover, it created a sense of community to many who do community work alone within a company. It helped remove the loneliness. This can truly be the hardest thing for many community managers, as reported in a recent SOCM report from The CR, almost half of you are a team of one.
The team also did an amazing job with a Friday hangout, year round, where you can see a much younger version of many of us (including me). Unfortunately, however, due to various forces scattered to the wind, we lost the core CMGR Hangout group creating these fun and engaging events. I don’t blame them - creating content is no easy task, and I know how much effort they put into it for free. Thankfully, you can still find 7 years of great content on YouTube.
In the years since, there have been attempts by some to create similar events. To be honest, they were mostly self-serving money making schemes, or groups that tried to take control and change the meaning of the event - or even set agendas or topics around the event. This is not what CMAD is about. Sorry I am an originalist.
If you read the original words of Jeremiah, the CMAD event was meant to be celebrated in three simple ways:
If you’re a customer, and your problem was solved by a community manager, be sure to thank them in the medium that they helped you in, using the hashtag #CMAD.
If you’re a colleague with a community manager, take the time to understand their passion to improve the customer and company experience. Copy their boss.
If you’re a community manager, stop and breathe for a second, and know that you’re appreciated. Hug your family.
The only additional item I see for organizations (who have a stake in the industry) is to make sure that other community professionals know they are not alone by connecting with other community managers. This year, Vanilla has a full week dedicated to appreciating the work of community managers by gathering some great minds in two webinars. The goals are simple, talk about our work, how we can do it better and how we can support each other in advancing our cause. I am so proud that Georgina Donahue, Brian Oblinger, Shana Sumers, Erica Kuhl, Holly Firestone and Carrie Melissa Jones will join me, and I hope you will too. You can check out the respective sessions here and here.
I have also made myself available for two 1 hour sessions where you can come by and chat with me on any community topic amongst a collective group of CMs. It’s totally open and you can check out the sessions for January 28th and January 29th. Join the one that works for you. No hidden agendas, just pure conversation and connection.
Finally, I just want to thank all you community managers reading this. Your work matters more than ever. As we are still facing this pandemic, humans connecting to each other in your spaces is more vital than ever. I know how draining this work can be, but I want to thank you for all your hard work. More importantly, I want you to take a moment - enjoy today, treat yourself and know you are not alone. Thank you so much for all you do. It truly is appreciated.