Do you currently manage a community?
Yes, I’m the community manager for a Dutch gaming platform called Spelpunt. It is the Dutch branch of GamePoint. Spelpunt is the oldest and largest Dutch social gaming platform, dating back to the year 2001.
What career path brought you to where you are now?
In my college years I worked for a small game company, providing support through email. As fate would have it, there was a vacancy for community manager after a year. Since I already slowly grew into the roll I was given the position.
After 5 years the company closed it doors. I tried other branches (although usually sticking to webcare/support roles) but I could not let go of the appeal of the gaming industry.
When the opening at GamePoint crossed my path I went for it. Leaving one city behind and starting fresh in the next one.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?
The age of the community. Having one that is over 15 years old brings it own set of unique challenges. It is a struggle between evolving and keeping traditions to appeal to your core members that signed up so long ago.
What’s the best job you ever had that wasn’t in community management and does it inform your CM work in any way?
Cleaning! Well, it was actually a bit more than that. I spend some time working as house cleaner for the elderly and handicapped who clearly couldn’t do it themselves anymore. You come by for a few hours, work through the checklist of what needs to be cleaned and you talk. A LOT.
Due to the nature of their situation most of them were in social isolation and having someone to talk to did remove some of that isolation.
Secretly that was the real reason you were there, some social interaction.
How does this tie in with my current position? I’ve learned how to start and maintain conversations with complete strangers. Humor breaks down a lot of barriers and genuinely listening to someone does wonders. Feeling heard is more important than a little layer of dust on top of the television. Although the dust was always skillfully removed by the end of the shift.