Sadder days as a Community Manager

灯籠流し Lantern floatingImage by kamoda via Flickr

I've done Community Management for a long time. In the beginning (not to sound like a hipster) I was managing a community before companies were paying people to manage their online communities. My management style hasn't changed since day one.  My fundamental philosophy of Community Management is "Love your Community."  

 For 99.9999999% of all situations, this is the most rewarding part of Community Management is having community members that you're friends with, that you care about and can connect with.  Twice during my Community Management, I've experienced something that I'll hopefully not experience again. 

This week I've been remembering two young men that died much earlier than they should have.  They were both members of communities that I was managing and both times, I cried. Coworkers and friends couldn't understand why I cried over people who I only knew digitally.  I had problems putting it into words, I still do.

 I often wonder how other Community Managers deal with this issue?  Not just Community Managers, but anyone with a digital life.  How do you deal with the death of an online friend, some one who you shared a friendship with online but not in real life? Have you ever done anything for them in their memories?  

I'd really like to hear what you have to say!  Leave a comment or give me a shout out on twitter: @tia_marie

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