Community Appreciation Everyday

By Dustin Smith 2013/01/27

Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day (AKA #CMAD). As Tableau's Community Manager that means I...

get a day off
get a free lunch
get a high five
get to write a blog post about how awesome I am.

I really like this day because it ultimately brings more attention to the importance of communities in general and what a cool, wonderful and vital part they play in every organization.

Sometimes people have trouble understanding all the crazy stuff I get to do as Community Manager. Do I hang out in the forums all day? Occasionally. Am I all over social media for Tableau? To a degree. Am I picking the brains of our customers for product ideas? That's part of it.

There is a nice infographic from the Get Satisfaction Blog that does a good job of exploring all the hats that a Community Manager wears (and I'll admit, many of these resonate with me). However, in the interest of being creative I decided to make my own little explanation visual which I feel is a little truer to my situation...

The reality is that 1. I have the best job in the entire company, and 2. It's made 100% possible by the incredible participation and passion of our customers. The core of my mission is to listen wherever users are communicating about Tableau and make sure the rest of the company knows what is being said (from product feedback to excited beta participants). Lately that communication has helped us make some long overdue updates to our Community site itself including:

This is only a summary list and is by no means the extent of what we're working on, but I like to point to it as an example of the really cool things that can happen when excited and dedicated customers engage with us to make changes. This could have just as easily been a list of product features (dashboards filters, GA connector, etc.), speaking opportunities or even new user group meetups since there is no aspect of what we do here at Tableau that isn't directly affected by our community.

Which leads me back to it being Community Manager Appreciation Day. The truth is that while I'm glad this day exists...I honestly don't need it in order to be reminded that there is value in what I do since I get that from every email, voice mail, Tweet, LinkedIn request, Facebook like, and letter (yes letter...looking at you Mike Cristiani - thanks for the holiday card and poster) that comes my way.

Perhaps all that is a little sappy, but maybe it just means I should have added another picture to my job description...

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