The March community call focused on the different forms that community manager (CM) roles take across the STEM ecosystem. The agenda included presentations and reflection questions to guide the conversation, which covered career paths, professional development, and common challenges.
To kick off the meeting, Lou Woodley spoke about CSCCE’s research program, highlighting our newest resource-creation project: STEM Community Manager Case Studies. Malin Sandström (International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility) and Elisha Wood-Charlson (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) then described work they performed as CSCCE Community Engagement fellows to characterize CM positions. This work will feed into a new CSCCE working group, which will launch in April and continue studying scientific community manager roles.
On 3 March 2022, CSCCE Director Lou Woodley gave an invited talk for the Code for Science & Society Digital Infrastructure Incubator about best practices when engaging volunteer labor. Her 60-minute session included opportunities for participants to reflect on their own work with community volunteers, and how they might refine the support they offer to them in the future.
With so many community managers in STEM looking to mobilize community members in a volunteer capacity, we thought we’d share an overview of Lou’s “5 guiding questions” for supporting unpaid contributions.
This week we released the first CSCCE Community Manager Case Study! Every Tuesday this Spring you can expect a new case study to drop; browse the collection and download your own copy of each one from our dedicated resource page.
What is a Community Manager Case Study?
These 2-page interviews ask scientific community managers a series of questions about their role, including day-to-day tasks, highlights and challenges, and how they view the importance of community building in STEM. They are very similar in structure to a series of interviews we conducted in 2016, when STEM community managers were relatively unknown, and are intended to showcase what it means to convene communities in a variety of scientific settings.
On each case study you’ll also find a unique skills wheel signature for the community manager featured, which assesses how frequently they used 45 skills in 5 core competencies over the last 12 months. You can find out more about the CSCCE Skills Wheel, created by the C3 project team of the CEFP 2017 cohort in our 2021 guidebook.
The next CSCCE community call will take place on 16 March at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC (add to your calendar: Google | iCal). We’ll be talking about what it looks like to be a community manager in a variety of settings; from scientific societies to research collaborations and everything in between.
We’ll also be talking about our newest resource, a series of community manager case studies that we’ll be releasing every Tuesday this Spring, starting on 9 March. And, we’ll hear from the C3 project team from CEFP 2017 as we kick off a new community working group building on their research.
Our January call focused on project management tools and how they can streamline collaborations and improve efficiency. This post includes a summary of the call, as well as video clips of presentations from Lou Woodley (CSCCE; describing the tool Trello), Alycia Crall (the Carpentries; describing Asana), Anne Heberger Marino (Lean-To Collaborations, describing Mural), Ellen Dow (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, describing Todoist).
Today is Community Manager Advancement Day (CMAD), and this year the focus is on professional development for community managers!
What is CMAD?
If this is the first you’re hearing about the annual celebration of community managers, a little background. CMAD was created in 2010 by Jeremiah Owyang, a technology professional specializing in the intersection of technology and human behavior. Community members are encouraged to send messages of thanks to their community manager (using the hashtags #CMAD and #CMGR), and organizations that support community managers often host events or release resources to mark the occasion and explore the year’s theme (for example, last year we hosted a community call on 2021’s CMAD theme of resilience).
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.
For our first call of 2022 we’re focusing on project management. It’s a common time of year to be thinking about big picture planning and strategy development, both individually and for your organization or team. And, there are a number of online tools out there that can help you map out your month, quarter, and/or year and keep track of tasks as you go.
In response to several requests, this month’s call will include a general introduction to some of the rationale behind project management as well as active demos of four different platforms that can help you with your project management; Trello, Asana, Mural, and Todoist. We’ll share how we keep on top of things here at CSCCE, as well as hear from three members of the CSCCE community of practice who use one or more of these platforms in their own community management work. There’ll also be an opportunity to try at least one of the tools in breakouts to help guide your own work.
This summer, we are focusing our community programming on building a denser network of connections within the CSCCE community of practice. This means not only creating opportunities for new connections to form, but also to strengthen the relationships that already exist. In this blog post, we highlight the events and activities we’re hosting to meet these goals, and we hope that you’ll mark your calendars to join in. If you’re not already a member of the community, you can request an invitation to our Slack workspace.
The Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion special interest group organises a series of interactive seminars on issues facing community managers who want to build equitable and diverse cultures in their communities and networks.
This guest blog post, written by Kate Baker and Emily Lescak, recaps the group’s 27 April 2021 seminar, in which 55 people from a range of countries discussed challenges and good practices in facilitating conversations around DEI.
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