What do the Blizzard CMs Do When They Do What They Do?


That’s the question asked over on the B.net WoW forums, with twenty-specific questions about the process. One of the WoW CMs, Nethaera, offered a lengthy reply, plus several followups, and though it’s all about WoW, you might find it an interesting read. We’ll be dealing with this sort of thing with Bashiok and the other new/incoming CMs once D3’s been released, after all. I’m not going to quote the first mega-reply, or the second or fourth re-reply.

Nathaera’s third reply was a rebuttal to some fans who wanted more specifics on the replies, things, and I think it’s worth repeating.

The problem is less about my answers and more about the fact that despite Community Management being a growing field, many people still misunderstand what we do or can’t fully understand unless they’re in our shoes. It would take me far longer than a simple forum post to go into the intricacies of what we do and even then, unless you’re on our side of the fence it’s very difficult to truly gauge it in proper context.  That’s not to say that I don’t think you are smart enough to get it, it’s just that there really are no “simple” answers that I could give you that wouldn’t lend themselves to even more questions.  There’s a lot of intuition, people skills, writing ability, game knowledge, design and processes knowledge, and more that goes into what we do.  Like I said, it’s a much larger conversation and I’m sure there are resources beyond these forums that go into the job a bit more than I could here that could at least give you a perspective to go by.

Check out the whole thread, or at least the first 20 questions part, and see what you think. I thought the reply was pretty good, even though almost nothing in it wasn’t what I would have expected. Plenty of fans are complaining though, and the objection seems to be to how generic and general the replies were. Readers might have been more pleased with some specific examples, and that’s more or less what forums tmorrow said in a thread about it in our forum.

I got very little out of this, but judging by a few of the following responses on that forum it appears I’m in the minority. I found my irritation rising as I read. On the surface you’d think you were getting a decent response but on closer examination it turned out there was little substance there.

Nethaera’s first sentence pretty much summed it up her entire attitude, justifying her following vague replies, I’m surprised she bothered at all. She mostly replied with non-answers and unquantifiable responses. Rhinhart wanted to know how much time the CM’s spent on the forums. How much is “Lots”, a few hours a day, week, month, year? I really have no idea, Nethaera didn’t tell us. Later on page 4 of the forums she tries to justify her vague responses again. Ditto on most of the other questions.

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