Community Management Books & Their Takeaways

It’s hard to be in any position these days without continuing to develop professionally.  Without actually going back to school, what’s an easy way to do that?  Good ol’ fashioned book learnin’.

For the past two years we have been cultivating a list of recommended books from #cmgrchat members and their top choices for excellent reading sources.

What makes these books so special?

Q1) What’s your all time favorite Community Management Book, and why?

debng  My favorite book for community management is@ifroggy‘s “Managing Online Forums”. Great tips for managing people & situations

Historian Not 100% CM but, “Smart Business” by Jim Botkin Mostly about Knowledge Communities in business.

SueOnTheWeb I’m enjoying “Building Successful Online Communities” & also @debng‘s book is excellent for “in the trenches” type of advice.

LovelyLu   The Art Of The Community by Jono Bacon

DavidYarus   I LOVE learning about people + consumer behavior:#Blink #Tribes #ThePowerOfHabit #PredictablyIrrational#TheSocialAnimal

rhogroupee: I almost think that books about psychology and human behavior are better than books specifically about cmgt…

benfowler @npgates_24 I look for books that touch on the psychological/sociological underpinnings of thriving, active communities.

ilovegarick Books? I’d recommend @bcarroll7‘s Hidden Power of your Customers

hugeheadca The best community management book ever: I’m the Biggest Thing in The Ocean 🙂

meghan_krane:   Look for authors who write related fields – sociology, psychology, cultural anthropology + mine biblios

JPedde: @richmillington has a great shortened list: Summer Reading For Community Professionals

Q2) Tell us a little bit about the takeaways from your favorites books…

debng  For me the biggest takeaway is that the community isn’t about me. It’s about the community and the brand, but not the CM

sherrierohde   Keep users happy, and customers follow; grow your user base and your customer base grows as well.

haileytemple #trustagents focuses on the importance of transparency and showing the person behind the acct. Essentail for any person or corp

djfanco In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Cialdini shares strategies. Each #CM problem can be solved with one (or more) of them.

benfowler  Focus on intrinsic rewards (as opposed to extrinsic) for long term engagement growth. Book: Drive by Daniel Pink

LamChristie @JPedde Agreed. “Groundswell” is about that. How transparency, authenticity, 24/7 access … is now expected no matter the medium.

Q3) How have you applied what you’ve learned from these books in your community?

djfanco  I admit I can be methodical. I make lists and reminders to apply principles I’ve learned.

corecorina  I’ve taken a lot of cues from cognitive therapy and behavioural analysis (teaching books) when addressing user concerns/issues

Historian  Only in that it got me looking at the power of online communities way back in 1999…

hugeheadca  it’s human nature to think you are the biggest thing in the ocean. See it from their POV before you act.

EvanWatkins83  Setting up new keyword searches on Twitter, caption contests on facebook, asking the community more questions to get feedback

Q4) How often do you read Professional Development books? When do you read them?

corecorina  Almost never read prof development books, but I absorb snippets, articles, reviews, presentations, workshops weekly.

Shananigans5 for professional development I seek out conferences I learn more from people than anything

shankell  I don’t really, and I should. This is what happens when you were an English major and read 4 books a week… you read for fun!

KellyLux   ANY book you read can offer CM lessons, if you’re paying attention.

DavidYarus  I listen to them (via @Audible_com App) every day on the subway to and from work. Easy way to be productive!

debng   I read several professional books per year. I mostly read on planes or during the hour I set apart each day for education

EvanWatkins83  I try to read at least one a month. I read them on my way to and from work, and at the gym.

This digest was taken from the #cmgrchat Twitter Chat topic “Community Management Books” held on June 20th, 2012. 

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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.