September’s community call: Advocating for yourself to chart a career path

In August, we started a conversation about common challenges faced by community managers in STEM. On that community call, which also included an overview of our findings and recommendations from the CSCCE community manager case studies project, several participants noted that they often find themselves defending the importance of their work to leadership, human resources, and/or their community members. This challenge was connected to a lack of clarity around what it looks like to turn community management into a lifelong career; not only advocating for what you do today, but making a plan for where to go next.

So, this month we wanted to hold space to continue this conversation with an off-the-record community call co-moderated by members of the community of practice. This is a great opportunity not only to hear from others’ experiences, but also to help the community as a whole chart a path forward. 

Join us on Zoom at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC on Wednesday, 28 September (please note that this month’s call will not be recorded, but we will share a blog post recap afterwards with key learnings and resources).

September’s community call will focus on ways of advocating for your role and skillset in a range of settings, and charting a career path that meets your goals. Image credit: CSCCE
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Community calls coming up this fall: Being a community manager in STEM

Following on from our August community call, where we introduced some of the emerging trends from our forthcoming report on community manager roles, this fall we’ll be hosting a series of follow-on conversations to get at some of the challenges we identified. Each call will address at least one of the common challenges community managers face, and hold space for community reflection and feedback. 

In this blog post, you’ll find a brief summary of what to expect from each call, as well as dates and details so that you can add each call to your calendar. We’re still working out some of the details for this series, so if you see something that particularly resonates with you and you’d like to be involved as a speaker or panelist, please let us know by emailing (note: you don’t have to be a member of our community of practice to contribute to our monthly calls). 

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August’s community call recap: Reflecting on the role of the community manager in STEM

This year we’ve been releasing community manager case studies: two-page interviews, each describing one of 25 community managers from across the STEM ecosystem. On this month’s community call, we shared some of the observations we’ve made as we’ve compared these case studies.

Next month we plan to publish a report that will describe the details of our analysis and make several recommendations for what’s needed to support the emerging community management profession, setting community managers, their communities, and their covening organizations up for success.

During the call, we also heard from two of the community managers who took part in the project, Connie Clare (Research Data Alliance) and Nathaniel Gore (PeerJ), and invited reflections and feedback from all of the participants on the call. We’re so grateful to everyone who came and shared their frank perspectives, and we plan on continuing the conversation on a future call later this year. Read on for a recap of the discussion, and watch the presentation portion of the call in the embedded video clips. 

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June’s community call – Annual Summer Social!

Twice a year we take some time on our monthly community call to focus solely on connecting with one another. On our June call, we’re offering another round of our curated networking forum (find out what that means below!) and setting participants up with a series of one-on-one chats. 

We hope you’ll join us on 29 June at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC on Zoom, and please register in advance (deadline: Tuesday, 21 June) so that we can create your personalized networking program for the event.

Join us for community conversation and networking. Image credit: CSCCE
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May’s community call recap: Creating virtual events that meet people where they are

Two years after the pandemic pushed the majority of events online, we invited community members to discuss when virtual and hybrid formats work well, when they work poorly, and the tools that lead to success.

We also hosted a co-working session, during which we worked on a virtual events glossary and an updated version of our guidebook of curated virtual events resources – two items we’ll release soon. In this blog post, we offer some of the key takeaways from this month’s community call, in the hopes that it helps you plan engaging and inclusive events. 

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May’s community call: Revisiting virtual events

Join us on 18 May at 3pm UTC / 11am EDT for a conversation about virtual events: what we’ve learned after two years of online gatherings. We’ll make space for discussion, considering what the future of hybrid events look like, and host writing sprints to co-create new resources. 

You can join the call on Zoom, and add it to your calendar: iCal | Google

On our May call, we’re consolidating community learnings around convening virtual events. Image credit: CSCCE
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Community calls coming up in Q2 of 2022

Believe it or not, a quarter of 2022 is already behind us. So, we’re looking ahead to what’s coming up in our monthly community calls over the next three months. 

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. Most participants on the calls are members of our community of practice, and we regularly invite members to present or lead discussions. Calls are scheduled for 90 minutes to allow conversations to blossom and diverge, but we also appreciate 60 minutes is typical for virtual meetings and so if you have to leave at the top of the hour there’s no need to apologize. 

We do not routinely record calls, however if there are formal presentations we make those available after the fact on our YouTube channel. Our rationale is that by not recording the calls we afford more opportunity for participants to speak candidly in a protected space, and, to ensure people who are unable to attend benefit from shared learnings, we publish blog post recaps within a week after the call. 

You can find a record of our past community calls, including recaps and recordings, here

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April’s community call: Community/Customer Relationship Management platforms

Our April call will focus on the pros and cons of various Community/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, and what a “perfect” community relationship management platform might look like. 

We’ll hear from three members of our community of practice who are using different tools, and spend some time brainstorming to create a requirements document of all the things we’d like to be able to do as community managers with a similar platform. 

Join us via Zoom on Wednesday, 20 April at 11am US EDT / 3pm UTC

Add to your calendar: iCal | Google

This month we’re taking a look at how you can use CRMs to support community management. Image credit: CSCCE
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March’s Community Call Recap: Community manager roles in STEM

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.

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February’s community call recap: Creating scaffolding to support your community

February’s community call focused on how scaffolding influences engagement and inclusion in communities. The call coincided with the release of the third installment of The CSCCE Community Participation Model guidebook, which described what scaffolding is and why it matters. And, as a gesture of gratitude and love to our community members in Valentine’s week, we also updated a number of our CC BY licensed scaffolding PDFs and created easily-adapted Google doc versions to support the creation of scaffolding across the STEM ecosystem.  

We spent time on the call discussing and exploring these resources and the challenges community managers face when trying to create and/or socialize scaffolding in their communities, as well as coworking to create, adapt, and update materials. In this post, we recap some of the key points that came up during our community conversation. 

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