My early dalliances with online communities were not job related. I’ve participated in online forums, groups, and blogged in some capacity for far too many years to count. There is nothing particularly unique about this tidbit, except that the roles I typically opted to take on within these communities were clear indicators in hindsight.
These roles typically involved mediation, moderation, organization, and guidance. But when I think about these things, I’m reminded that these aspects extend well beyond online interactions for me.
Growing up, I was the kid on the block that plotted out complex daily story lines for the other kids growing up in my neighborhood. One example: I created a map, with points of interest around the neighborhood. We grew up in a court, so we had a nice amount of space, including front yards, backyards, etc. to play around with. I aged and buried the map in an open space, then I planted clues that led to the discovery of the map. Each point of interest offered either a reward, or another clue. For a solid week that map drove many backyard adventures, spurned arguments, resolved disputes, produced puzzles to solve, and centered on discovery and participation. As the game progressed, I changed my plans to cater to the needs of those involved, and finally planted prizes to be discovered at each point of interest on the map.
I was, to put a label on it, an obsessive geek.
I could dig deeper into examples, but I think you get the point. In college I became a Resident Advisor, and eventually an Asst. Resident Director. There is something about the mix of entertainment, participation, and problem solving that allures me to these types of roles.
All of this is Community Management related.