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09 Nov, 2023 2 min read

Digital Community Leaders - Blaise Grimes-Viort

This week we are joined by Blaise Grimes-Viort, a seasoned expert in social media and online community management
Digital Community Leaders - Blaise Grimes-Viort

We are excited to welcome Blaise Grimes-Viort as this week's guest on the Digital Community Leaders Podcast. With over two decades of experience in social media and online community management, Blaise's career spans multiple industries and has led him to become an accomplished executive, strategist, and influencer in the field.

His expertise in building and managing large teams, developing product strategies, and his reputation as an influential community manager make him a brilliant guest for our discussion around digital communities.

Upskilling and Tech Developments

Blaise explored the relationship between technology and skill development in the industry. He pointed out that the Digital Community Survey Report highlights significant tech changes, including AI. Simultaneously, the need for honing the right skills complements these technological shifts.

Having experience in both social media and community management, Blaise noted that social media has developed specialised roles since 2013-14, while the community industry has traditionally favored a more generalist approach.

However, the rise of multimedia content and tech advancements, including AI, is creating a demand for specialised roles.

Blaise envisions community managers as key players in upskilling their organisations, bridging the gap between community expertise and technical skills while still excelling at core community management tasks.

“I think on one hand, the community industry is fantastic in that a generalist can come in and do a great job and get a lot of traction in what they're doing. At the same time, I think the focus on developing the right skills and the tech developments are similar to what happens with social listening.”

— - Blaise Grimes-Viort, DCL S2 E4

Professionalising Communities

Digital communities have become more accessible to start, with tools such as Slack or Guild freely available for everyone. The key shift is recognising the need for professional community management, and transitioning from a casual hobby into a commitment with substantial investment.

Blaise pointed out that over the past ten years, he has seen professionalisation grow significantly, with abundant training options available - such as Meta's certification programs, aimed at upskilling those running hobby or volunteer communities.

Recently, the ability to monetise communities has been seen as a marker of professionalism. For membership organisations, there's now a wealth of knowledge, tools, and experience for community managers to build their communities up and further their professionalism.

This shift in perspective is notably reducing the number of people managing communities for just a few hours a week as a hobby. Instead, it's becoming at least a part-time, if not full-time, role.

“In the case of membership organisations, if you have a good solid funnel and a good comprehension of where the community fits in the funnel, why it's there, what you're trying to encourage people to do, snd where the monetary value for the organisation comes in. It's a lot easier to track that and then reinvest or employ someone dedicated on it.”

— - Blaise Grimes-Viort, DCL S2 E4

The full episode is available to listen to now across all episodes - as well as a video version on YouTube.