Seth Godin, marketing guru/blogger with a huge audience recently posted “Jobs of the future, #1: Online Community Organizer“.
What if you want to hire someone to build an online community? Somebody to create and maintain a virtual world in which all the players in an industry feel like they need to be part of it? Like being the head of a big trade association, but without the bureaucracy and tedium…
It would help if that person understood technology, at least well enough to know what it could do. They would need to be able to write. But they also have to be able to seduce stragglers into joining the group in the first place, so they have to be able to understand a marketplace, do outbound selling and non-electronic communications. They have to be able to balance huge amounts of inbound correspondence without making people feel left out, and they have to be able to walk the fine line between rejecting trolls and alienating the good guys.
Since there’s no rule book, it would help to be willing to try new things, to be self-starting and obsessed with measurement as well.
This is all spot on, but I’d also add in that community people need to be great communicators, first and foremost. This is inherent in a few of the things Seth mentions, but it’s important enough to clearly reiterate.