Wednesdays 2-3pm EST – A Community for Community Managers

2/2/11 – Health & Wellness February 3, 2011

We had a pretty great chat this week about a community manager’s health & wellness routine.  A lot of us spend an absurd amount of time in front of the computer and sitting on our butts and are always connected.  We work crazy hours, and we eat bad foods because we’re always on the go – and all of that is a recipe for disaster.   We’re into the second month of the new year and while we’re way past resolutions, it’s good to keep going on the health front all year long.

Or Maybe we should all buy these: http://bit.ly/gP3TRP Exercise office chairs.  Or these? http://bit.ly/f0RlUp


**Before I go on with the tweets, I would like to point out that this chat has been an amazing place for community managers to come and talk about their experiences and share their opinions on what makes them good at their jobs.  Since its beginning in September, it has always been a pretty positive, funny place to be in for an hour a week, and there’s even the occasional snarky, sarcastic moment.    However – last week we had an instance of some negativity amongst two people and one person felt a little like this wasn’t a safe place and felt that they needed to leave the chat.    I’m happy to say that I’ve been in touch with both of the people involved and it ended well with apologies and thank yous all around.

I just want to make it clear though – Kelly and I don’t tolerate negativity.  We’re all out to help each other, network, and have a great time in this one hour chat.  Please don’t abuse it and make others feel as though they don’t belong.  Remember – community isn’t just something you do at your job, it’s something we take pride in 24 hours a day be it personally or professionally.


Q1) Since becoming a community manager have you managed to keep the same physical fitness routine?

digitalmention: Absolutely! I workout 4-6 days/week. But I’m smarter now about time – in & out in 1 hour. Intensity!

vargasl: Yes. I am a creature of routine. I do everything in the morning b/c day chgs at rapid pace. Elliptical & yoga every other day.

JennaLanger: Blocking off time is hard for me. I feel like I need at least 90 minutes to workout and shower, hard to fit in

katieblaine: Getting exercise clears the mind, helps you become more focused, have better ideas, feel good and you will be HAPPIER 🙂

elysa: I’d say fitness depends on in/out of office worker AND personality. I’ve done fairly good job keeping up with going to gym.

TeresaBasich: Part of struggle is my location and attachment to my gym. Including driving, showering, all that, takes 2-3 hours to work out.

tgrevatt: Switching off & getting to workout is made trickier by winter, gym fees etc. I use frnds on SM as motivators.

vargasl: I read a biz book on nook while on elliptical…working, but not “on.”


Q2: Does your schedule allow to take classes or join sports teams? Do you schedule in unwinding/disconnecting?

vargasl: No, I don’t have gym membership or take classes b/c of schedule. Travel too much. 😦

gilmoreglobal: Schedule could allow it but my addiction to my BlackBerry and Twitter interfere! 🙂

Triplyksis: I HAVE to schedule unwinding/disconnecting time or I won’t stop working in time to do it.

digitalmention: I don’t take any “official” classes or sports teams bc I don’t want to over commit. That’s also a part of health!


Q3) What do you do when you’re sick? Can you really take the day off?

AdamBritten: My last internship (which dealt with SM) allowed me to work from home when I was sick. Very convenient!

Triplyksis: It’s WFH=Work From Home. There are no days off or sick days. 😉

JamesVKautz: If I’m sick enough not to work, the community can tick on without me for a day. But I’d at least post a heads-up somewhere.

digitalmention: Sad, but no. I listen to my body, though. When I’m truly “out,” I rest – work – rest – work, etc.

SunnyinSyracuse: A student I know has 2 herniated discs from sitting too long at a desk (for seriously long hours)…core muscles were too weak!

AskTim: *Can* I? Sure I have almost 10 weeks of unused sick time. *Do* I? Not so much. Need to get over that.

rontoledo: On sick days I usually end up still working, just at home. With @loladogg on my lap.

JennaLanger: When you’re sick, stay home so you don’t get others sick! I’m still checking email and delegating though

rhogroupee: Last year, we gave everyone unlimited paid leave…haven’t looked back!

JPedde: If I’m sick & am able to think straight, I’ll work from home. If I’m on death’s door, all I’ll do is sleep & no work. Know limits


Q4. Have you noticed any ill effects from being constantly plugged in? (ie I have twitter dreams all the time)

JessicaRMurray: A few tips on Carpal Tunnel prevention. http://ow.ly/3P5Ta I have to pick up these wrist things too

JPedde: Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and want to check for @’s on my phone. (#addiction)

KellyLux: Yes, I wake up earlier and look at my phone..and go to bed later..because I can’t put it down…

SocialMedBtrfly: I fall asleep with my iPad by my side – scared I’ll roll over on it and Tweet accidentally


Q5. What are some things you’ll start doing better JUST FOR YOU after today’s little chat?

AdamBritten: Maybe I’ll put my phone away when I’m at the gym…maybe.

TeresaBasich: It’s up to us to constantly reinforce that need to sign off. All comes back to boundaries.

vargasl: I have to schedule time just for me and keep that time holy. To do something not related to work.

SocialMedBtrfly: I’m going to remember the European way – work to live, not live to work, & set expectations w/ managers 4 balance

pushingvision: I’m going to set reminders in my calendar to take a break — and eat lunch. Did it before and it worked, not sure why I stopped…


Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please click here. Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!

Q2) Does your schedule allow to take classes or join sports teams? Do you schedule in unwinding/disconnecting?

12/1 – Taking Time Away from the Community December 9, 2010

We are all married to our jobs as community managers and that’s part of the fun!  We like being connected and involved with our work, but every so often we like to take breaks, go on vacations, or leave for the holidays.  We had a pretty great discussion Wednesday with 670 tweets and 87 participants, all about some of the best practices when leaving the nest just for a bit.

Bonus: The Community Roundtable posted this about Nutella taking the summer off. 

Also make sure to follow the @CmgrChat Twitter Account and join the Linked In group as well (Link on the right side of the screen)!


Q1) What’s the time off structure like at your company?

jvkautz: I accrue 2 weeks per year and can’t take ’em before I earn ’em

AskTim: I accrue 1.25 vaca days per month, plus floating holidays, personal days, & our summer day program

JennaLanger: What’s time off? 😉 We’re fairly flexible as long as we stay connected. Setting up shifts for handling support issues

kerimorgret: I’m able to telecommute two days a week.

BrianneVillano: 3 weeks vacation (can roll over 40 hours starting last week in December), 1 flex day, 5 days sick, 10.5 holidays

MikeFraietta: 4 Four weeks should be minimum if you want to keep your staff more than a year. I’ve never had less at 3 startups I worked for.


Q2) How have you handled leaving your community for various stretches of time?

cochinealred: Longest I have left the community for was 5 days. Updated occassionally as I was able.

SueOnTheWeb: How have you handled leaving your community for various stretches of time? – I’m on 24/7 so never experienced that.

muruganpandian: Or you can scale down your participation and also let the community know that you are on vacation.

rhogroupee: Online community is like a small child, you can never really leave it unattended 🙂

BrianneVillano: Planning ahead and then enjoying the time I have off. Disconnecting is a necessity in the age of information overload.


Q3.How do you prepare to take time off? Schedule tweets/posts? Prepare your community for your departure?

JennaLanger: I make a to do list of things I need to take care of before I leave, and things I need to follow up with when I get back

Mitch_M: Blogs are written way in advance,and automatically post to Twitter. Otherwise, just make sure to check in at least once a day

greghollings: We have a handover process which each CM must go through before leaving on holiday. Includes scheduled content

Arrakiv: I work solo on community. Prepare content ahead of time, let the community know I’m off – smaller community though


Q4. So, say you actually do take time *off* & have a backup. Are you still checking? How? What if no wifi or other access?

SueOnTheWeb: Yes gotta love my iphone. Even manage to put out cmty fires whilst sitting on a ski lift 😀

LvM: If you love your company and job, it’s fun to semi-monitor when off. It’s a part of your lifestyle.

ericfoster: I also utilize my members to keep me updated on mood of community while Im away.

aleveland: Usually out of country so probably not checking in much!

luciagia: I usually check at least 1x a day. If I don’t have internet, its not for long. I always seem to find my way to one somehow 🙂


Thanks to all who participated! If you would like to see the entire transcript, please click here. Make sure to come back to #cmgrchat every Wednesday from 2-3pm EST for more chats!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future topics, leave comments or get in touch with either Jenn or Kelly!