It's been a long week. TWO blizzards, a 48-hour power outage at my house, kids out of school all week--and my husband's been out of town the whole time. The positives? Shoveling snow is a good workout. Lots of time spent with the kids--AND they did most of the shoveling after the second storm. And LOTS of time spent online. Even during the power outage, thanks to my trusty iPhone. Did I mention I *LOVE* my iPhone? With it--and Twitter and Facebook--I managed to stay connected to the world throughout the storm, monitor Pepco's progress on the power restoration front, figure out what areas of DC/MD/VA were getting plowed and which weren't, and generally not feel like I was cut off from the rest of the universe.
I also got to attend a conference I wasn't originally scheduled to attend. ASAE's Technology Conference was supposed to be this week, and I was sad not to be going. But ASAE had to cancel due to the weather. Within minutes of the cancelation notice, my association buds Maddie Grant and Lindy Dreyer--together with a host of generous and hard working sponsors and organizers--whipped together an unconference--#UnConf10. They livestreamed most of the day Thursday and hosted a bunch of virtual sessions today. I can't say enough good things about it so I'll just link to what others are saying.
My favorite take-away from the event? The conversation about the importance of community managers, of course! You KNOW my biggest blogging obsession is the role of community/social media managers and the haziness of the whole thing, so the more people start to get on board with the fact that it IS a legitimate, important function, the more likely there will be some standardization of titles and salaries. I think this is particularly important in the association world, where there are no existing benchmarks for this role. I about died when I read Mack Collier's post on what a social media strategy will cost--because I know there are associations out there who are on one hand saying "we can't afford to hire someone to do this full time" then, at the same time, paying consultants $2,000-$5,000 a month to set up and maintain a Twitter account or $5,000-$6,000 a month to set up and maintain a Facebook page. If social and community are as important as we keep proclaiming them to be in terms of organizational strategy, member culture and all the rest of it, isn't it time associations (in particular, ASAE) put their money where their mouth is and come up with a real job description and some concrete salary benchmarks for the role?