Q&A with a Community Manager

I was recently interviewed by Social Media Citizens as part of it’s ongoing series of interviews of professionals who in the social media and community management industry.  It’s a huge honor to be asked about what you do and why you love doing it so there was no hesitation on my part when I was presented the opportunity.

This is the second time I was asked for an interview as a Community Manager for Yahoo!.  The first time was for Pinoy Tech Blog when I just came on board as CM for the Philippines.  Three years later, I get interviewed again and it’s amazing how much three years of experience can add to one’s professional career and I’m happy to have that chance to talk about it in Social Media Citizens.

You can click here for the full interview but below are some highlights of what I shared in that Q&A session:

  • My experience in becoming part of the emerging blogging community in the Philippines, becoming a public speaker and a company evangelist and dealing with customers as an E-commerce Manager all helped to pave the way to my becoming a community manager now.
  • The best place to build a community ultimately depends on the community’s interest and the company or institution that’s building and managing the community.
  • In order for a community to work, there has to be a platform that enables community members to connect with each other easily and collaborate based on their shared interest, the community guidelines should clear communicated to all members, and a community manager has to be present to lead the initiative to build and grow the community.
  • There has to be value for users to join a community and this should be clearly communicated from the start.
  • Three mistakes to avoid in community management: not knowing what the purpose of having a community, lack of leadership and ownership, and treating community channels as traditional media.

If you have additional thoughts or questions about community management, please feel free to share it in the comments.  Thanks!

Job Opening: Regional Product Marketing Manager for Yahoo! Southeast Asia


If you’re based in the Philippines, Indonesia, or Vietnam and with experience in product management and marketing, and you bleed Purple, this job opening may be you.

Yahoo! is looking for a Regional Product Marketing Manager that will act as a bridge between the Philippines, Indonesia or Vietnam and Yahoo’s global product team, providing market insight, leading go to market efforts, and monitoring product performance.  The role will be based in any of the local markets mentioned and will report to the Head of Product Marketing for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore.  Here’s more on the role and responsibilities and qualifications:

The Regional Product Marketing Manager has three primary responsibilities:

1.     Market insight and feedback

  • Market-specific feedback on individual products
  • Close monitoring of competitor activities in market
  • General feedback on user habits, preferences, and trends
  • Opportunity assessments for new products, product areas, and strategic directions

2.     Go-to-market leadership

  • Understand all aspects of Yahoo’s products (feature sets, positioning, value proposition, etc.)
  • Educate internal stakeholders (sales, biz dev, editorial, marketing etc.) about key products
  • Work with consumer marketing team to develop consumer go to market strategies and plans
  • Work with internal stakeholders to ensure products receive adequate support and exposure
  • Act as product spokesperson for external public relations

3.     Product monitoring and analysis

  • Closely track product performance
  • Report on performance via dashboards and ad hoc analysis and make recommendations
  • Understand market trends driving performance metrics and recommend improvement plans to global product team

Competencies and Requirements:

  • BA or equivalent (MBA or other advanced degree a plus)
  • Minimum of 5-7 years experience in product management or product marketing (preferably internet-related)
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills in English
  • Fluent in local language for Philippines
  • Deep understanding of internet sector in Philippines
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Strong technical understanding of how internet content and services are delivered
  • A passion for how internet technology impacts people’s lives
  • Proficient user of office productivity software
  • Capable of thriving in a large multinational company
  • Available to travel regularly for work

If you see yourself perfect for the role, feel free to email me your resume or you can check out http://sg.jobs.yahoo.com to apply.

Blog, Interrupted

It’s been so long since I last wrote an update here that so many things have happened between now and my last blog post.  The country now has a new president (who recently launched his new website – http://president.gov.ph), friends and colleagues have either left the company or moved back to their countries, and recently I relocated back to Singapore.

It’s funny how the last post I wrote was about Jeremiah Owyang’s declaration of “Community Manager Day”, well he is in Manila right now as one of the main speaker’s of IMMAP’s 4th Summit!  I never would have imagined 7 months ago that he’ll be in Manila (man, how I wish I had the chance to attend and meet him in person).

Anyway, blogging really takes commitment and there’s no excuse not to have posted an update for the past 7 months.  In the words of the wise Yoda, “Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.”  The same can definitely be said for blogging.  You start a blog, then blog.  And there is so much to blog about.  Especially since I plan to make some changes in the blog.  More about it in succeeding posts.

It's Community Manager Appreciation Day!

I’m not making this up.  Jeremiah Oywang, columnist for Forbes and blogger at Web Strategy, has just declared every fourth Monday of January as Community Manager Appreciation Day.  He said this is the day to “pause, recognize, and celebrate the efforts of community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.”

I believe it’s about time we have a day like this, not only because I’m a community manager (hehehe) but because 2010 is the year Community Managers will start playing a major role in businesses in different industries.

A community manager is now a role that applies not only to social networking sites or community-based services but basically to any organization that sees the importance of a dialogue with their audiences, that values engagement with their customers, and that wants a deeper relationship with their markets.  A community manager is the person to do this for you.  As companies begin to understand the importance of social media and how it relates to their businesses, they will see the need to cultivate communities.

If you don’t know yet what exactly is a community manager (and I know it’s a new title to many, given the many instances I have to explain it whenever I tell people what my work is), Chris Brogan has an excellent post about what a Community Manager does and the essential skills to be one.  Another great read about how the community manager’s role is Jeremiah Owyang’s post, “The Four Tenets of the Community Manager.”

As for Community Manager Appreciation Day, it may be Tuesday already but it’s never too late to do the following (as what Owyang shared in his post):

  • If you’re a customer, and your problem was solved by a community manager be sure to thank them in the medium that helped you in. Use the hashtag #CMAD.
  • If you’re a colleague with community manager, take the time to understand their passion to improve the customer –and company experience. Copy their boss.
  • If you’re a community manager, stop and breathe for a second, and know that you’re appreciated. Hug your family.

Many thanks!

Job Opening: Commissioning Editor for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

To anyone in Southeast Asia looking for work in the online industry, specifically in editorial, here’s another cool job opportunity for you.  Reposting this verbatim from the Y!SEA Blog.

Yahoo! Southeast Asia is looking for a Commissioning Editor to help support the production of English-language custom-branded micro-sites.

You’ll be required to identify and commission bloggers/writers to produce a variety of articles ranging from finance to event guides. That means you’ll need both an extensive list of contacts as well as a broad knowledge of various subjects.

The role also requires you to have strong editing skills to draw out a distinct and engaging editorial voice to satisfy the Yahoo! audience. Just as important — you need to be able to recognize this quality in other people’s writing.

Given the high expectations of our users, the role requires a professional with at least five years in an editorial role.

The job will also involve:

  • Identifying strong bloggers and building a strong relationship with them
  • Assessing pitches from bloggers
  • Editing article submissions
  • Commissioning photographers and illustrators
  • Issuing contracts to bloggers
  • Paying bloggers

The ideal candidate will have the following skills:

  • More than 5 years in an editorial role, preferably in the magazine industry
  • Strong relationships with prominent bloggers
  • Ability to write and re-write in an engaging style
  • Strong copy editing skills, knowledge of AP style is preferred
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Nurturing skills to help develop bloggers

In terms of personality, we’re looking for someone who is able to juggle multiple assignments and roll with the punches. You must be able to work independently. You need to be comfortable with technology and internet publishing tools, and if not, you should at least be a quick learner.

Interested?  Please send your resume and a cover letter to:

Alan Soon
Managing Editor
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Email: alansoon@yahoo-inc.com