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Meet Your Community Manager: Katie Bapple

Written by Julie Dietz on March 2, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Want to know who's managing your online community? Meet Katie Bapple.

Ever wonder who the people behind the curtain are here at Higher Logic? We’re introducing you to our community managers. They’ll talk about why they love community management, helpful resources to use and weigh in on the dog versus cat debate (as you can see, this is serious stuff…).

In this seventh installment, we’re introducing our newest community manager, Katie Bapple.

Q. What excites you about community mangement?

A: The future. Community management is still such a progressive field. After decades of being an unknown, organizations are rapidly beginning to see how community impacts retention, advocacy, support overhead, and sales. That’s spurred a great deal of variety and evolution in community strategy and tactics that’s broken community builders out of their shell.

We aren’t just stereotyped as social media support agents anymore, we’re also customer success managers and data analysts. We’re discovering and sharing positive business growth and ROI in new, intriguing, and highly-scalable ways.

Q. How did you get into community management?

A: Lucky happenstance. After college, I wanted to become part of the Foreign Service or Peace Corps, but the timing was all wrong. Then a friend heard about an opening at a local community-as-a-product company, so I gave it a shot.  The job instantly clicked, and while I didn’t realize it at the time, I was still fulfilling my goal to help global communities - it was just happening online instead of on the ground. I’ve dedicated my career to online community management ever since.

Q. Favorite community management resource?

A: My bookshelf. I prioritize literature with close ties to community strategy like Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit and Nir Eyal’s Hooked. They’re great reads on behavioral economics. Other recommendations are How to Win Friends & Influence People, Predictably Irrational, Thinking, Fast & Slow, and any of Robert Cialdini’s books on persuasion.

I also follow all the great web-based channels for community management, such as Feverbee, CMX, and Community.is as well as make frequent use of free scholarly articles.

Q. What's your favorite book?

A: It’s impossible to pick just one! The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and Champion by Marie Lu are two that really stuck with me recently. I love anything that challenges the reader to see the world through a different lens.Higher Logic's new online community manager, Katie Bapple, is a dog person.

Q. Dog or cat? (Or neither?!)

A: Team D-O-G! I have a 12-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Lola who is my world. I'd probably have a whole farm of rescue dogs if Lola’s strong disagreement could be swayed.

Meet Katie Bapple, Director of Community ManagementKatie Bapple has been directing the growth and development of communities since 2008. She’s worked with over 30 unique communities, with representation ranging from Fortune 100s to associations and non-profits. Prior to Higher Logic, Katie spearheaded the portfolio of Toolbox.com communities at Ziff Davis, Inc., with more than 2.3 million members.

Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

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