Chris Brogan has stepped into the void: On Managing A Community. Fortunately, he asks for some input:
How would your organization incorporate a community manager? Where would they report? How would you measure their efforts? Do you see any flaws in my suggestions? Are YOU a community manager? How does this sync up with your world?
I've commented on this sort of "corporate" strategy before. I think it's close to the most clueless thing I can imagine. To answer his first question, How would your organization incorporate a community manager? In my (mythical) organization we would never have someone with the job function of community manager. I know organizations are creating these sorts of jobs, but it is just so wrong-headed. So let's get this part straight-- they are not your communities to manage. The whole idea of making community participation a dedicated job function disturbs me. It feels sneaky, manipulative, and evil. "Hi, I'm from XYZ and I am here to infiltrate you."
Community participation is baked-in to the way we live. It's in our DNA. It's called living, and doing the normal stuff people do. So everyone in your organization is already active in communities-- online and off. If your organization is basically good and doing the right thing-- people will know. If it's truly evil no community manager is going to save your butt.