For the past 15 years, cocktail parties were tough. When people would ask what I do for work, my response, “I build online communities for business,” would serve as a natural repellant to further conversation. Confused or suspicious about this mysterious response, the martini-holding listener would likely divert the conversation elsewhere in short order, as they had absolutely no idea what an online community-builder is or does.
I am happy to report that my social life is getting better these days, as online communities are all the rage. There are still elements of mystery that shrouds the community-building profession – but there is also a new-found curiosity.
So, late one evening, I tried write a description of what it means to be an online community builder. And instead of developing a cohesive job description, I wound up with a pile of words. (Leave it to a community builder to approach a puzzle with a unique solution!). While my outcome most certainly does not replace the utility of a straightforward party-line, I think it will resonate will community builders worldwide who have evoked a similar suite of words at the dreaded cocktail party… when faced with the question “what do you do for a living?”