Last month we started publishing scientific community manager case studies; interviews with members of our community of practice that describe the different kinds of community manager roles from across the STEM ecosystem. There are now eight of these case studies available to download from our website, with more coming over the next couple of months, and we encourage you to take a look. So far, we’ve highlighted community managers in publishing, professional societies, research collaborations, and academic outreach settings.
One of the emerging themes (which corroborates what we learned in our 2016 State of Scientific Community Management survey) is that often community managers work alone or as part of a small team, and may have additional responsibilities on top of their community management work. As a community grows, it can therefore become more and more challenging to nurture. So this month, we’ve been talking about tools and practices to scale and sustain your community.
Our April community call focused on Customer/Community Relationship Management platforms (CRMs) and how they can be useful for keeping track of your members and programming. We summarized the discussion on our blog, including the pros and cons of a few specific platforms and why you might consider building your own.
Our experience suggests that working with community champions – the emergent leaders within a community – can be crucial for the successful scaling of a community. This month saw the culmination of our working group on community champions programs, for which we hosted writing sprints to synthesize our learnings into a series of nine tip sheets. We’re putting the final touches on those resources as we speak, but in the meantime you can read more about supporting community champions in our guidebook (and for more on when, why, and how to engage volunteers in your community, take a look at CSCCE Director Lou Woodley’s blog post).
Also in this month’s newsletter:
Meet the newest member of the CSCCE team, Adrienne Gauthier, Trainer and Learning Program Manager
Mark your calendar for our May community call, on which we’ll revisit virtual events and what we’ve learned from online gatherings over the past two years
Check out all of our resources on supporting community champions
Resources for scaling and sustaining
Guidebook on supporting community champions
We focus on the benefits of engaging emergent leaders in growing, maintaining, and evolving your community, as well as how to support your champions with training programs, materials, and/or financial rewards.
5 guiding questions to help you support community volunteers
In March, CSCCE Director Lou Woodley gave an invited talk for the Code for Science & Society Digital Infrastructure Incubator about best practices for supporting unpaid contributions to your community. She summarizes her key points in this post.
This blog post is a great starting point for anyone thinking about using or building a community relationship management tool. We summarize the pros and cons of several platforms our community members are using, and share some key features to look out for.
Mark your calendar for our upcoming community calls
If you’ve never been to a CSCCE community call, these are monthly virtual gatherings (kind of like a webinar, but more interactive!) for anyone interested in building communities in STEM. On 18 May, we’ll be hosting a conversation on virtual events, what we’ve learned from our experiences running and attending gatherings online during the pandemic, and what the future of inclusive and hybrid events looks like. And in June, it’s our annual summer social!
Adrienne joined the CSCCE at the end of March as our new Trainer and Learning Program Manager. She will be working to help expand our portfolio of professional development offerings and devise programmatic pathways through them for the range of STEM community managers that we support.
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