Yesterday was CMAD. “CMAD?”  I hear you ask. That will be ‘Community Manager Appreciation Day’ – well it was in the USA anyway. So what is CMAD? It is a day where people are encouraged to send sincere thank you notes or write blogs about their online community managers.

Why am I telling you about CMAD? Well upon hearing about this day and with over 5 years’ experience as a research community manager, I was at first quite pleased and intrigued to hear more about it. Why? Well in a completely self-gratifying kind of way I thought how nice it would be to get more recognition for all of the hard work I put into managing the communities I do.

Appreciate online communities

I mean who doesn’t love a bit of praise every now and then right? As nice as that sounds after some more thinking time I came to the realisation that I don’t need to have pats on my back for being a good community manager or to hear how much my community members appreciate me on a specific day of the year.

Why? Well I am fortunate enough to love my job and I work on a range of longer term communities and pop up communities daily so I know my members (or respondents) and I can tell when they are enjoying themselves and the overall experience of being a community member.

Whether that enjoyment comes from genuine excitement in responses to the latest topic I have just posted, thank you messages when a member has been lucky enough to win a reward, members starting a petition to keep a community going when it was coming to an end, a community being described as being better than Facebook or engagement levels creeping to an all-time high. Well the enjoyment is there for all to see – it’s infectious.  That’s why I do my job and that’s why I appreciate my members. So maybe CMAD should stand for Community Members Appreciation Day. Just a thought.

Anthony Shephard, Head of Online Communities