I’ve had a copy of “Thank You and You’re Welcome”, a small, spiral bound book, on my shelf since it was released back in 2008. It was authored by Kanye West with J. Sakiya Sandifer. Recently, I had reason to pull it back out and I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the “Kanye-isms,” as the book’s description on Amazon.com calls them, apply really well to community management.
For example, the title of the book. A “Thank You and You’re Welcome” moment is when both parties involved in a transaction give and gain. West refers to his early work with rapper Common and how working with an established artist improved his credibility. At the same time, Kanye produced hits for Common that helped him reach new audiences. Both sides gave, both sides benefited.
“Life is 5% of what happens and 95% how you react” is another adage from the book. This is very true of community management. You can’t control what the members of your community do. But, the one thing you can always control is how you respond to something and it is important to use that power carefully.
“If EVERYBODY thinks it’s right… You’re doing something wrong!” also applies very well to this field. If you some people aren’t displeased with you, you aren’t doing everything you should be doing.
Of course, the book was not written for community managers. It’s an insightful, philosophical book about life and it makes you think. But, I believe that it offers a lot of value for community managers and, when wrestling with a difficult decision, it might help point you in the right direction and remind you of something you may have temporarily forgotten.
I definitely recommend it. It’s a really quick read and you can pick it up on Amazon.com.
Please note: links to book are affiliate links.