Hats off to Jeremiah Owyang! He's created Community Manager Appreciation Day. He's done it on Twitter, just like that, and today is its first observance.
That's Community Manager in the sense of online communities, the kind Jono Bacon describes in his wonderful book, "The Art of Community, Building the New Age of Participation"
Owyang muses on his Web Strategy blog today, "Every fourth Monday of January, let's take the time to pause, recognize, and celebrate the efforts (of) community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.
"The title matters not, whether it’s online customer advocate, online customer support, company evangelist, [or] disgruntled customer handler. Instead, focus on what they do: A customer advocate [who is] willing to help regardless of where they are online."
You can't quarrel with this. It's great way to celebrate helpfulness, but suppose we expand the concept beyond computer communities.
Let's celebrate people in whatever field who elevate helpfulness into building functional, lasting communities of mutual aid and participation. Happy Community Manager Day!
Be sure to check out Owyang's "Four Tenets of the Community Manage." They're at the core of PR practiced well.