Twitter Needs a Community Manager

After today’s and the last few days’ drama around Twitter, I think they need a Community Manager.

While there management has been kind of accessible, they really need someone who’s smack dab in the middle of the folks that use the product on a daily basis.

They need someone who’ll communicate constantly what’s going on and help even more so maintain this relationship.

Twitter is obviously a tool that folks depend on so it’s extra important to give special attention to the community and it’s feelings about it.

It’s all too easy for a community to turn on a product and move somewhere else.

PS – No, I’m not offering myself for the job.  I’m very happy at Clearspring.

7 thoughts on “Twitter Needs a Community Manager”

  1. AMEN!!!
    It’s too funny for them NOT to be involved in the social network they created. weird actually. and very bad 4 long-term business success.

    you R right on re:
    It’s all too easy for a community to turn on a product and move somewhere else.

    That’s the prediction I made earlier 2nite re: Twitter in 2 years. at least if they don’t wise up & get more active w/ the things people have major gripes about…

    @CoachDeb on Twitter

  2. Fair comment, but this is a very sensitive, tricky situation involving free speech and protecting vulnerable single female person. Just saying “community manager” isn’t an answer.

    Maybe you can tell us what *you* think Twitter should actually *do* to help Ariel: remove the offensive tweets, lock the user’s tweets, kick aggressive users off, add a “flag inappropriate” button to tweets, somehow rally the community to support Ariel, and ignore this user, removing the oxygen of “following”?

  3. Paul –

    Justin’s comment wasn’t presenting a community manager as a be-all/end-all solution to the current situation with Ariel, any more than he was suggesting that a community manager would solve the scaling problems that have caused Twitter so much grief over the last few months.

    But it’s clear that Jack has no significant capabilities (or, to give him the benefit of the doubt, he doesn’t have the time? … but I think it’s more of a lacking skillset) when it comes to community management, and it’s clear that the community of Twitter users wants more communication, more transparency, and more accountability for Twitter.

    I know they’re everyone’s darling at the moment, but look at the community response to Zappos. In that case, there’s a clear commitment to delighting the customers from the very top of the company. If Twitter doesn’t have that in their blood, they need to get someone on board who can make it happen from the bottom up.

    It’s possible that Justin will post again with thoughts on what Twitter should do regarding this specific situation (Ariel), but his suggestion had an intentionally limited scope, and it doesn’t need to include an action plan for resolving the drama. And that’s kind of the point: once this situation is dealt with, there’ll be more like it (or wildly unlike it … the very unpredictability is part of the problem). Investing in a salaried community manager … really, an ombuds more than anything else … is the best money Twitter could spend right now.

  4. @Paul: Let me mull and i’ll get back to you. I need to read more about the situation.

    @Charlie: Right on. I’ll give the Twitter staff the benefit of the doubt. The Twitter users are HUGE in number in comparison to how many people they are and the user base is very passionate. I’m sure they don’t have the time. They need someone who can be the point person for the community to get to know, trust, and work with.

  5. To be honest (and frank, but not snarky), I think web folk are spending more time pissing and moaning about Twitter than they are actually using Twitter (insert joke about constant downtime here). Yes, they’ve got room for improvement, but what web service doesn’t?

    More to your point, though, an out-in-front community manager would certainly be helpful in smoothing over problems as they arise.

  6. @Jason, I couldn’t agree with you more. I think there are a few bloggers (well a lot of them) that like to blow up small things to be the end of the world. At the end of the day, they’re all going to still be using Twitter.

    It’s funny because I actually read all of Ariel blog post. She mentions that Twitter has a Community Manager. I’m like… what?!?!?

    I’m thinking to myself, what good is a community manager if they’re not out there enough to see and know who they are. Then… I find out she’s Pownce’s Community Manager. Yeah, I had no idea.

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