“In my opinion, this is a question of tripartite semiotics. The Community Manager debate concerns three linguistic issues:
Â· the semantic question: what is the relation between the words community and manager and the concepts they denote? In what way does the word signify the meaning, and is that relationship standardized or generally accepted?
Â· the syntactic question: what is the relation between these two terms? How is the meaning affected by putting them together? In what way do these terms interact with the formal language structures in which they are used?
Â· the pragmatic question: what is the relationship between the words and the people who use them? What impact does the term Community Manager have when it is used within different communities and contexts?”
This is what is happening with Community Managers. Yes, manager has a hierarchical connotation. But increasingly, Community Manager is not understood as community + manager. It is becoming a signifying unit, a term or tag associated with corresponding ideas, of its own.
I grant that this is a gradual process and that Community Manager will remain an uncomfortable term for some people. And if you would rather call these positive agents Community Enablers or Community Leaders or Community Hedgehogs, that is your decision
“That phrase stood out like a beacon for me in the Social Media: Cultivate Collaboration and Innovation whitepaper posted yesterday by the Cisco Services Group that referenced the results from a study conducted between April and September 2009 with 97 businesses across 20 countries to understand how organizations use social networking and Web 2.0 tools to collaborate outside traditional organizational boundaries, and along with changes in culture and process, can drive business model innovation. To support that statement, I quote:”
Weâ€™re looking to create a collaborative platform integrated into our business processesâ€¦because you canâ€™t have the two decoupled.â€
To unleash maximum potential, business and IT must work together to refine social networks, so that they are secure, integrate into corporate information systems, and support work processes to deliver business results.
In the end, organizations need to understand the relationship between business, process, culture, and technology, and how each area can catalyze collaboration to drive optimal performance and business success.