1. Thanks for reading, Laurel. I’m not sure you’re being quite fair. The point of my post wasn’t to say, “this job didn’t exist, now it does.” The point was to say, “Hey, wait a minute, all of a sudden the number of organizations that want to hire someone like this is exploding!” That’s what the phrase “… of the future…” means, at least the way I use it.

    You’re right, though, that Howard has always been a decade ahead of the curve.

  2. Hi Seth and thanks for dropping by. I guess the confusion is the title “Jobs of the Future” not “High growth industries”. Yes of course it’s exploding but it has been for a while. A long while. My company provides training to companies about how to set up online communities, how to comply with legals, how to create principles, how to market in social networks and how to employ and train staff… This has always been an area where people can get jobs. Mostly of course it’s with a gaming company like Sony or Blizzard, or in a developer community like Microsoft or other hardware/software companies that use support forums. Health communities have also been around for a long time as have online dating social networks and so on. What has changed is that media companies are building social networks around their media properties and web 2.0 offers technology simplification causing mass distribution channels as opposed to the normal niche under the radar ones.

    And I meant what I said. Your role is to highlight stuff that is coming into the consciousness of companies that are dragging their heels into this century. It’s just… under-researched to imply there is no precedence when people like Amy Jo Kim wrote manuals last century (oh ok, 1999) called Community Building on the Web that gives as concrete examples job descriptions for Yahoo geocities aol compuserve, genie, prodigy an the other social networks that had hundreds of thousands of members. A lot of work went into developing the rule books for setting up these communities – Jenny Preece has another one – so to say there aren’t any rulebooks, that there will have to be job descriptions created and that the ‘job of the future’ will need training when those things are happening implies shallow and/or *popular* knowledge.

    Are the jobs in the social network industry going to explode? Yes. Is it a new job description, with no history or precedence? No. Has Web 2.0 helped the popularity of social networks? Yes. Are online communities solely a web 2.0 phenomenon? No. Social networks is not like the invention of HTML in the ’90s that created so many web development jobs (and a whole new industry). This is a social phenomenon that has been around since the moment we had an online service… (end of rambling, it’s late here in Australia).

  3. I forgot to say, for anyone who is interested in writing up a job description for online communities staff, I post them here under the category of JOBS. Just click on that and you should find some info you can use in the (atm) 43 posts or so.

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