Home > Communities of Practice > Darth Vader: The Galaxy’s Worst Community Manager

Darth Vader: The Galaxy’s Worst Community Manager

Maybe I got sucked in but what a great post from Jason Ferguson of The Metaverse Mod Squad Blog

Sure, I enjoy working in online communities, but wouldn’t life as a Jedi Knight (or perhaps a Sith Lord) be even cooler? Despite my best efforts, I can’t shoot lightning from my fingertips, move objects with a simple thought, or use my brain to control the weak-minded. As depressing as my complete inability to wield the force is, I’m comforted by the fact that I’m much better at my job than Darth Vader would ever be. Yes, you heard that right. As powerful as Darth Vader is, he’d make an awfully crappy community manager.

So why would the galaxy’s most feared man be such a bad community manager? Let’s take a look…

Firm forgiveness – Moderators here at Metaverse Mod Squad abide by a philosophy of firm forgiveness. “Forgiveness” doesn’t seem to be in Darth Vader’s vocabulary. Just ask Captain Needa about how Darth Vader accepts apologies.

Power hungry – Remember these quotes? “Someday I will be the most powerful Jedi ever.” And how about “Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!” Sure, having force powers is cool and all, but with great power comes great responsibility and community managers have to learn to use their influence (and handy community tools) wisely!

Don’t get drawn into battle – Community professionals NEVER let themselves get drawn into battle. Trolls and angry users might try to get under our skin, but we’ve learned to be bulletproof. Had Darth Vader learned that lesson, maybe he wouldn’t have ended up with his limbs hacked off stranded on the planet Mustafar.

Over reacting – As Master Yoda says, “Anger…fear…aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.” Unfortunately, those three things tend to block out Vader’s ability to think clearly… and then you end up as a slave to Emperor Palpatine after slaughtering the entire Jedi Order. A good community manager knows how to keep their cool, more like Yoda than Darth Vader.

Don’t feed the trolls – Like it or not, a community manager has to learn to learn to deal with annoying people in a professional manner. Sort of the exact opposite of what Anakin did to those Tusken Raiders that killed his mother. And those younglings on Coruscant. And just about everyone else he ever met.

Be welcoming and friendly – Community managers need to be approachable and friendly, welcoming new users into the community and making them feel at home. A six-foot tall Sith Lord in scary black armor that kills everything around him? Not so welcoming.

Keeping secrets – If you want to earn the trust of your community, you shouldn’t keep secrets. Sure, there’s plenty of information that you just can’t reveal, but when dealing with a community crisis, honesty is always the best policy. If you didn’t pick up on the hint Darth Vader, maybe you should’ve told Luke that you were his father a little bit sooner. And your “secret” relationship with Amidala? Probably not the best idea.

The new trilogy – Face it, the new Star Wars trilogy stunk. That’s irrelevant to the rest of this article, but it needed to be said and would probably destroy Vader’s credibility as a community manager somehow.

There’s no shortage of reason why Darth Vader should keep his distance from online communities. Long story short, don’t quit your day job as a Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Metaverse Mod Squad isn’t interested in your lack of Community Management skills. But if you can teach me the ways of the force… that would still be pretty cool!

– Jason Ferguson

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