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A Reading List for Social Media and Community Managers

Last weekend, the CommunityCamp 2012 took place in Berlin. The CommunityCamp is a barcamp for social media and community managers. You can have a glance at the conversations surrounding the event by looking at the Twitter stream with the hashtag #ccb12. Here is one of the few blog posts in English about the event, written by Monica Zaldivar.

Doing research on the use of social media and online communities in organizations, I was thrilled to be there. Listening closely to some of the discussions, I was able to identify a number of issues that I have previously come across in the literature. As a delayed contribution to the barcamp, I thought I could provide a small reading list for practitioners. I consider the references below to be of high practical relevance. They provide answers to questions such as:

  • What is an online community?
  • How to manage an online community?
  • What are relevant psychological and social aspects when dealing with online communities?
  • Where to position community management within the organization?
  • Which tools may be used for connecting different kinds of stakeholders?

If you know of additional material that should be listed here, please feel free to drop me a line. Providing an overview of recent literature on the topic is probably a nice idea for next year’s CommunityCamp.

Here are my suggestions:

Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Majchrzak, A. (2011). Knowledge Collaboration in Online Communities. Organization Science, 22(5), 1224–1239. doi:10.1287/orsc.1100.0614

Kane, G. C., Fichman, R. G., Gallaugher, J., & Glaser, J. (2009). Community Relations 2.0. Harvard Business Review, 87(11), 45–50. Retrieved from

Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the Functional Building Blocks of Social Media. Business Horizons, 54(3), 241–251. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.005

Kraut, R. E., & Resnick, P. (2011). Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design. MIT Press.

McAfee, A. (2009). Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. Harvard Business School Press.

Wallace, P. M. (2001). The Psychology of the Internet. Cambridge University Press.

A Barcamp Experience: The KnowledgeCamp in Karlsruhe

On October 12 and 13, 2012, the KnowledgeCamp took place in Karlsruhe, Germany. It was the first barcamp, or unconference, I attended. For those of you who are not familiar with this type of event, here is the the corresponding Wikipedia article. On one hand, I went because I was curious to see how such a barcamp works. On the other, I wanted to offer a session in order to present and discuss a paper a colleague and myself have been working on recently.

My general impression of the barcamp was very positive. One of the greatest features is the selection of the sessions by the participants themselves. This procedure guarantees that the content offerered is relevant to the people attending the barcamp. While I was worried that my own session may not be suitable for the crowd present, I was pleased to see a number of hands go up once I introduced the topic. Hosts are further free to choose how they conduct their sessions. Continue reading A Barcamp Experience: The KnowledgeCamp in Karlsruhe