Introducing Jon, our New Community Product & Operations Manager

Guys, I want to introduce you to @CCadmin_Jon. Jon Ericson has recently been hired to be the Community Product & Operations Manager for College Confidential. He has been a Community Manager at Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange for 6 and a half years. Before that he was a moderator and active member of several online communities, including Usenet and mailing lists for programmers. He was also a programmer at JPL in Pasadena and studied Atmospheric Sciences at UCLA.

We’re excited to have him join the CC team and I look forward to working together to build the College Confidential community.

Thanks for the introduction, @CCadmin_Sorin ! I’m really excited to be here and to get to know you, the College Confidential community.

Feel free to share any advice you have for me in this thread. :smiley:

Hi Jon. Welcome.

What’s the role of the Community Product & Operations Manager?

Good question and one I’m learning the answer to myself. Online communities all consist of two parts: the people who make up the community and the platform on which they interact. So for CC, the forum software is customized Vanilla (which sounds like an oxymoron) and the members of the community are students, parents and experts interested in college admission. Traditionally Community Managers are responsible for the people side and Product Mangers are responsible for the software.

My job combines those roles. (You can kinda tell where the division is by the ampersand!) I work with @CCadmin_Sorin to make sure we have a vibrant community and with product development teams to make sure the software facilitates healthy interactions. If something isn’t working right—whether a person who is misbehaving or a feature that is buggy—it’s my job to make sure we have a way to fix it. I’m also accountable for planning new features for the site and preparing for the next generation of students.

The College Confidential community is fairly mature in internet terms. For the most part that makes my job easier—the cultural norms are already in place. But like all communities, CC needs renovation from time to time. I know 2019 was pretty disruptive in terms of a new site theme and changing the way log in is handled. My impression is these were more disruptive then they needed to be. I’m trying to learn from the past and bring change in a less disruptive way.

My goal with the you, the CC community, is to listen to your frustrations with the site and address those needs as I’m able. That might not mean doing things the way you are most comfortable with. But I will do my best to make sure your viewpoint is heard.