March’s community call: Exploring scientific community manager roles

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. 

Read on for more information, or click here to join the Zoom call.

This month we’re focusing on what it looks like to be a community manager in STEM, and how the role varies depending on context. Image credit: CSCCE
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January’s community call recap: Project management tools for community managers

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).

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It’s Community Manager Advancement Day! Some ideas to hone your skills and grow your professional network with CSCCE

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). 

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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. 

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January’s community call: Project management tools and best practices for community managers

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.

Join us on Wednesday, 19 January at 4pm UTC / 11am EST for more. Click here to join the Zoom meeting

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Summer 2021: Opportunities to deepen your connections within the CSCCE community of practice

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

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DEI Special Interest Group call recap: Facilitating discussions around DEI

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. 

The event consisted of a panel discussion, chaired by  Janice McNamara, with panelists  Arne Bakker, Yanina Bellini Saibene, Angie Bamgbose, and Vanessa Boon. The discussion was followed by a breakout session to explore the topics in more depth. Here is an overview of the questions discussed.

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February’s community call recap – Scientific community managers share their experiences of working from home

Almost one year on from the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to check in with members of the CSCCE community and find out how they have adapted to working remotely. To that end, this month’s call featured presentations, polls, and breakout rooms to encourage resource sharing and conversation, acknowledging that there is no one way to work productively at home, nor is any one resource a panacea. 

This blog post summarizes the call, including video archives of both presentations, and includes a resource list curated from our collaborative notes doc and the Zoom chat. Next month, we’re focusing on virtual and hybrid workshops and conferences, so if you are interested in presenting please let us know by emailing info@cscce.org

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February’s community call: Working remotely for your community, with your community

In this month’s call we’re focusing on working remotely, a situation that most scientific community managers have found themselves in since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll hear from two working-from-home veterans about how they structure their day, what tools or strategies they use to stay connected with their communities, and how they manage the lack of separation between work and life (especially childcare and homeschooling). 

We’ll also hold space for you to connect with members of the community in breakout rooms, to talk about relevant topics, and maybe even find virtual coworking colleagues.

February’s community call will focus on the challenges of working virtually as a community manager in science. Image credit: CSCCE
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January’s community call recap: (Personal) Resilience and Community (Management)

For January’s community call we focused on resilience. The topic of this year’s Community Manager Advancement Day, resilience is particularly important for scientific community managers, who tend to be prone to burnout due to busy and somewhat ambiguous roles, which require rapid switching between a broad range of skills. In addition, scientific community managers often work alone, behind the scenes, and with limited institutional support.

Following two prior presentations on resilience for CSCCE fellows, CEFP 2017 alumna Jennifer Davison agreed to share her talk with the entire community. You can watch Jen’s presentation in full below, or read on for a brief recap. Also in this post, a collection of tips for building a personal resilience practice gathered from the participants in the call, and a host of resources from blog posts to books to podcasts.

…resilience is seen as the capacity to withstand change for some time but also, past a certain point, to transform while continuing or regaining the ability to provide essential functions, services, amenities, or qualities.

Moser, 2008
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