Online Community Management for Dummies: A Review

Now let me be clear, I have never been a huge fan of the ‘For Dummies’ books. Don’t get me wrong, I have cracked a couple of those books in the days when I was attempting to learn how to code. I have, however, read the recent, Online Community Management for Dummies book by the wicked smart Deb Ng and have to say it is the best I’ve read in this series.

If you are new to the community management role, this book is for you. Deb outlines the many hats you must juggle as a community manager both on and offline. The book is comprised of seven parts ranging from community governance to hosting meetups and is full of tips and tricks from someone who has the battle scars of fostering a community. The underlying theme of each chapter is the focus on the health of the community…not the numbers or superficial and false indicators of success.

The role of community manager is anything but new, but it is the “it” job at present. If you are making the case for a community manager, the final section is comprised of three top ten lists that may help you with your cause. The lists outline the tasks, skills and best practices of a community manager. A community manager is an integral part of the organization because he/she is the bridge between the organization and the communities it serves. This is no position for a dummy, but everyone needs a good roadmap or refresher course, so pass on this book on to your community team. Start a discussion about how you can begin fostering a healthier dialog online and offline.

Thanks to Wiley and Deb Ng who sent copy of this book to me. Good news for readers…I pre-ordered this book months ago and have a highligher-free copy to give away. Please enter a comment below about why you would like to read this book or pass along to your community manager.

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  • Joel

    Pick me! Pick me! I want it!

    I desire to read it mainly because Deb Ng is a dear friend of mine. I don’t have a community manager to pass it along to, BUT – when I’m done with it, the next time my family culls the bookshelf, I’ll make sure it gets donated to a library. I’m really big on the ‘Save the Libraries” movement.

  • Gregory Fisher

    I would love a copy of the book.

    I’ve already asked my library to order it but to have a copy I can mark up and make notes in would be fantastic. I’ll eventually get a copy of my own but the quicker that happens the quick I can start my learning — and I am just taking my first steps on this path.

    Thank you.

  • tmycann

    Based on your review, it sounds like a book that might be helpful for my marketing team, too–if only for some of the lists included to give a sense of whom to involve in the process. Thanks!

  • Dayngr

    Looking forward to checking it out!

  • Danielle Warby

    I hear you! I haven’t read one of these ‘for dummies’ books since one on HTML back in the early days of the internet. Even though I’ve been at this community management thing for a while (so much of my previous ‘off-line’ work was this, it now just has new tools, and a new name) it would be great take a look at this book. You probably don’t want to be sending it to Australia, so don’t give it to me, I’ll try and find a copy locally. Thanks for the article.

    • Lauren

      Danielle…you are the winner. Please send your mailing address to

  • Ben Lewis

    I’d love to add it to my collection. I’ve been working in community management in the game industry for a few years now, and there’s always more to learn, especially from CMs in other industries! I recently joined a very small team in which every staff member could seriously benefit from reading this book.

    Thanks for the review!