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I totally understand how various community managers and developer’s can become burnt out on their fan-base. When every single time you login to your own message boards, you see people bitching about you, your game, or your company, it wears thin after awhile. A lot of developers have chosen the safe route anymore. They hide in the back and avoid the public as much as possible. Those wonderful people we call “Community Managers” are the ones who get to deal with all the jackasses on the boards. A Community Manager has one of the worst jobs in existence. No one really likes them or trusts them. No one really ever respects them or their position. Ultimately, they end up becoming the martyr for the company for things that they never had a say in! I have no idea how some of these guys can put up with the shit for so long. A prime example is Abashi, ex-EverQuest Community Manager. He flipped out several times on the boards just because people pushed him over the edge. I honestly don’t blame him one bit.
On a board management tangent:
Now, the thing that this guy doesn't get is that there are ways to handle whole message boards, all rants or all constructive criticisms. The simplest thing is to stay calm and don't escalate your manner to reflect the ranters. Every whiner will eventually read a developer post, because it's their food. So if you simply remain calm, talk in a logical but earnest way and remember this rule: simply take NO BS, people will get the message. I agree that one of the toughest jobs is to be a community manager... but seriously, I remember some of Abashi's posts and he could have done some things a lot better.