Community Manager Case Studies: What does it look like to be a community manager in STEM?

In 2016, we conducted a series of 10 interviews with community managers working in STEM. We asked them a series of questions with a view to sharing what their roles looked like and highlighting the work as an important piece of human infrastructure for effective collaboration. 

More than five years later, after growing a community of practice involving more than 350 members, we’re revisiting the project. Our goal is to build a collection of case studies so that new and aspiring community managers can get an idea of what their role is or will be, and for hiring managers to understand what to look for in new hires. 

We’re also curious about how community roles vary in different organizational settings. How does community management look in a professional society vs. higher education, for example? How do online communities compare to in-person ones, and how is that changing during the COVID-19 pandemic? We hope to explore these topics and more on the CSCCE blog as the project develops. 

What kind of information will be in a CSCCE community manager case study? 

The new case studies will contain similar information to the existing community manager interviews, along with some basic information about the communities they manage. So, as a reader, you will be able to quickly understand the size and distribution of the community, the size of the community management team (if there is one), and the goals of the community. 

The majority of each case study will focus on the community manager it profiles. What is their job title? Do they focus solely on community management work or are there other facets to their role? How did they become a community manager?

We’ll also be asking some big picture questions to gain a better understanding of how community managers see themselves in the broader STEM ecosystem and what types of challenges they face in their day-to-day work. 

Can I volunteer to be interviewed? 

Yes! If you are interested in being interviewed, or want to know a little more about what the process will look like, please get in touch* by emailing info@cscce.org.

*If you are not already a member of our community of practice, please request to join here before reaching out about a case study. 

When and where will the case studies be published? 

We are planning on publishing one case study per week from mid-February onwards. We’ll also be publishing companion blog posts to explore emerging themes. Members of the community will receive notification of new case studies in their weekly email updates, and thematic blog posts will be shared in our monthly newsletters (sign up here). 

How does this project relate to the CSCCE community profiles? 

The CSCCE community profiles project created 3-page infographics about STEM communities, and while they do include some information about the community managers that run them, that is not their primary focus. These new case studies are all about the people running STEM communities. 

When and if we create a case study about a community manager for which there is a related community profile, we will link the two so that you can get a more complete picture of how community managers impact their communities. 

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