Online Community Resources

I believe that, although there are many commonalities between Social Media Marketing and building online communities, they are very different.  First, a few of the commonalities: execution of either is almost bound to fail if there isn’t transparency and employees aren’t empowered to communicate to each other and with other stakeholders, not to mention that if there’s no strategy behind either, they’re destined to fail.  The difference can seem subtle at first, but really, it takes a different skillset to manage each and generally, the purpose and goals are different.  More on differences in another post.

I read a lot of blogs and a few books on both Social Media Marketing as well as Online Communities.  I also follow folks on twitter so that I can learn from others and find out what the latest buzz is about.  I’ve found that there are lots and lots of people writing blogs and books and tweeting about Social Media Marketing but not nearly enough on building and managing communities.  Simply put, Marketers (Social Media Marketers) have a lot more to gain from blogging about their industry than do community managers.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that getting a list of community management resources together was difficult.  That is one of the main reasons Dawn started this blog and why I am happy to contribute.  Aside from this blog, I recommend the following resources to teach you and keep you updated on Online Communities:

The Community Roundtable blog
Bill Johnston’s Online Community Strategy
Martin Reed’s Community Spark
Richard Millington’s Fever Bee
Rachel Happe’s The Social Organization

I also read a couple that cover both online community and Social Media Marketing:
Social Media Musings by Tom Humbarger (Talks more about Social Media lately but knows about community)
Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang (Talks a lot about industry trends and posts Case Studies and stats)

Twitter follows:
Take a look at the folks The Community Roundtable has listed on their Social Media list

The Cluetrain Manifesto
The Wisdom of Crowds

The Community Roundtable is a private peer network for community managers and social media practitioners.

Forum One brings great Community Managers together

I am sure I’ve missed a few great reads/follows. If you have recommendations, I’d love to hear them.


About heatherjstrout

Heather Strout has built many successful online communities for large enterprises using the building blocks of social media. She outlines these building blocks in her blog as a way to teach those who are interested in starting an enterprise community.

4 responses to “Online Community Resources

  1. Sue

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Some other great resources that I like are Connie Bensen’s blog at: and Angela Connor at:

  2. Michael Pearson

    Hi Heather!

    One thing I noticed that you did not specifically note as a resource is you on twitter. Heather is definitely a resource, @heatherjstrout. There are other loose resources that I cannot exactly remember right now, but the one that pops out is the hashtag “#cmtychat”. It started as a twitter chat ran by Angel Conner , @communitygirl, and I believe Bryan Person, @bryanperson, helps out. Currently they have moved it over to to make it easier to aggregate and read information. Here is the Link:

    Hope that most of this is helpful and not a rehash.

  3. Heather – Thanks so much for including us in this list. One resource that might also be useful for people is #CmtyChat on Fridays –


  4. heatherjstrout

    Thanks Sue! I had never heard of Angela Connor but I’m following her now.

    Michael, thanks for the link to #CmtyChat. I don’t know why I forgot that resource.

    This blog was cross-posted on The Community Roundtable and the comments offered a couple other resources as well:

    The e-mint Yahoo group is a resource for community managers –

    Venessa Miemis wrote a comprehensive blog similar to this one: 40 Great Resources for Developing a Community Management Strategy (

    Thanks all!

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