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Starting an online community seems easy.  You set up a website, install your forum software, and away you go!  There’s just one small catch… you need people to build a community.  Maybe you’ve already found your audience… now what do you DO with all of those people?  Angela Connor can help!  18 Rules of Community Engagement is a great book that explores many of the concepts and actions that make for a great Community Manager.

As a fan of Angela’s blog, I was excited to hear she was writing a book.  Over the last year, I’ve found incredible value in her various articles.  Angela launched and currently manages WRAL’s online community at GOLO.com.  Her talent and expertise helped her to grow the community to over 11,000 members in just 18 months.  As an actively working Community Manager, Angela has a wealth of knowledge to share.  That’s really what makes 18 Rules of Community Engagement a great read.

About the Book

At a brisk 84 pages, this book is a quick read that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed or bored to tears.  Angela touches on each topic, expands just enough to make her point, then moves on.  Each topic is very focused and well thought out – usually with great real-life examples.

The cover of the book states that it is a “Guide for Building Relationships and Connecting with Customers Online.”  This book really explores the art of dealing with the users of your community.  Angela gives a variety of ways in which Community Managers can engage and relate with users of their site.  She mentions tactics like Stroking Egos, Asking Questions, Pouring on Compliments, and Making Things Personal. Each chapter provides new ways that a Community Manager may engage members to create a stronger sense of community.  Engage, engage, engage! That’s really what it’s all about.

Whether you’re just starting out as a Community Manager or you’re an old pro, I feel like there’s a little bit for everybody in this book.  For beginners it’s like all the secrets are being given to you!  If I’d known even half of these tips when I started my communities, it would have helped me immeasurably.  For an experienced manager, this book almost reads like a checklist.  Each of Angela’s 18 Rules are a reminder of things you could be neglecting in your community.  This book makes a great reference for even the most advanced manager.  Have you engaged your members lately?

I’d recommend 18 Rules of Community Engagement to anyone who manages people in any capacity.  Though the book is written for people who manage online communities, the concepts are really broad enough to provide good points to anybody who manages people as part of their job or even a club.  If you are considering community management, or already run an online community, this book is a must read.  Check it out!

Book information

Disclosure: I was been quoted in this book and received a free electronic copy.
However, this is an unsponsored book review that is completely my own opinion.

  • Angela Connor August 26, 2009, 1:10 am

    Jeremy! This has to be the most glowing review I’ve received to date. Seriously, your analysis means a lot and I’m glad that you feel the book does exactly what I hoped it would. I really want people to understand that what we do is hard work. Thanks for sharing the book with your readers and I have enjoyed communicating with you for the past year. I look forward to chatting even further as we work to spread the good word about community management.


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