By: Diane Stirling
An online gathering for community managers and others interested in social media practice that is hosted by two Syracuse University-affiliated social media professionals achieved worldwide “trending” status on Twitter this week.
The chat ranked second, just below the topic of “Tebow to the Jets.”
Organized on Twitter via the hashtag, #CMGRchat, the conversation is co-hosted each week by Kelly Lux, Community Manager and Social Media Strategist for the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University, and Jenn Pedde, a Syracuse alumna. Pedde is the Community Manager for the online MSW degree at the University of Southern California.
#CMGRchat serves as a forum to discuss ideas, foster collaboration and provide connections between employees working in the fast changing community and social media management field. It also features conversations around the evolving role and practice of community management for online communities. It was started by Lux with Pedde in the fall of 2010. The chat was recognized last fall as the definitive resource for community managers across all industries by technology blog ReadWriteWeb.
Lux views the top ranking as a reflection of how quickly interest in the field of community management as a profession has grown. She suggested that the #CMGRchat topic this week, content curation, drew a wide spectrum of interest, and along with a high retweet volume, is likely to be what led to the top ranking. High interest levels now are in part attributable to community management becoming a “hot job,” Lux said. “People are really interested in that topic, and it is a job that almost every company is posting now.” Furthering that point, she noted that the addition of community management as a particular skill set is one of the most frequent upgrades occurring on LinkedIn profiles nowadays.
As for #CMGR chat content, the co-hosts “are always looking out for either something that’s a current topic or something that is going to resonate with our community, so we can bring the group together to share best practices and thoughtful conversations,” Lux said. She also has used the chat as an instructional tool for students in iSchool social media classes.
Attendance on #CMGRchat typically averages upwards of 100 people or more, and participants originate from a variety of tech-related industries. Typically involved are representatives of top brands in social media, and also many start-ups firms. The current participant group includes community managers from tech companies Blog World, Mr. Youth and UserVoice; plus The Travel Channel, Aveda, SONY Online Entertainment, and locally, Upstate Medical Center.
Found on Twitter at #CMGRchat, the chat meets every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. EST for about one hour.