In 2009, we noticed the adoption of social tools and technologies begin to skyrocket, but there was no corresponding attention being paid to community management. Our collective background in business operations and technology (Rachel) and community strategy and management (Jim) set off warning bells. We knew the use of social technologies would open a pandora’s box of implications and challenges for organizations. There were a few early community practitioners who understood what it would take to be successful and we knew that their tacit understanding would be critical to capture and share if the social media, community and social business disciplines were to grow. The Community Roundtable was our answer to this need.
Our Mission is to Advance the Business of Community and we do that in three ways:
- Enable community and social business leaders to succeed through professional development, peer learning, tools, research and advisory services.
- Champion individuals and organizations working to advance the business of community.
- Capture and document emerging knowledge in order to educate the market about business communities and their value.
Today, we have more than 100 community teams in TheCR Network and we are flush with research, data and insights into how the discipline of community management is being practiced across a wide range of organizations, industries and business objectives. We are grateful for the trust our members place in us to take their personal stories, aggregate and anonymize them into research and use that research to be a strong voice in the market.
Our deep understanding of the business and strategic context in which community and social approaches are utilized and our years of collective experience developing and managing online communities differentiates us. We don’t push companies into adopting social approaches. Instead we act like a coach, helping organizations sort through the realities of the process, including tough conversations on change management, realistic time frames for achieving results, resources (including personnel) needed to achieve those results and where to find those resources. We offer both paid and free resources to community professionals and we hope you will join us in furthering the practice of community management.