Interested in online communities and community management? Here’s a list I recently compiled for an answer on Quora – good books for Community Managers (with a few more thrown in for good measure!).
- Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, Amy Jo Kim (2000)
- The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, Howard Rheingold (2000)
- Cluetrain Manifesto: The end of Business as Usual , Rick Levine, Doc Searls, Christopher Locke, Jake Mckee (2009 – 10yr anniversary ed.)
Amazingly these three are 11 years old but every bit relevant.
- Buzzing Communities: How to build bigger, better and more active communities, Rich Millington (2012)
- Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation, Jono Bacon (2009)
- Managing Online Forums, Patrick O’Keefe (2008)
- Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities, Nancy White, John D Smith & Etienne Wenger (2009)
- Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge, Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott and William Synder (2002)
- Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies, Charlene Li & Joshua Bernoff (revised ed 2011)
- Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers Into Collaborators, Clay Shirky (2011)
- Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, Clay Shirky (2009)
- Hanging Out, Messing Around & Geeking Out: Kids Living & Learning with New Media (2009)
(Particularly relevant if youth is your Community Management focus.)
- 18 Rules of Engagement, Angela Connor (2009)
- Threadless: Ten Years of T-shirts from the World’s Most Inspiring Design Community (2010)
- Companies & Communities: Participating without being sleazy, Dawn M. Foster (2009)
- Online Community Management for Dummies, Deborah Ng (*coming Oct 2011)
- Social Networking for Non-Profits: Increasing Engagement in a Mobile and Web 2.0 World, Andy Steggles (2010) < thanks to Anne-margaret Olsson for this addition.
- Building Successful Online Communities – Evidence-based Social Design, Robert E. Kraut and Paul Resnick. (2012)
For Community Designers, Programmers, UI/UX peeps etc.
- Building Web Reputation Systems: Randy Farmer, Bryce Glass (2010)
- Design for Community: Derek Powazek (2001)
- Design to Thrive: Creating Social Networks and Online Communities That Last, Tharon Howard (2010)
- Designing Social Interfaces, Principles, Patterns and Practices for Improving the User Experience, Cristian Crumlish and Erin Malone (2009) < another one from Anne, thanks!
For MMO, Virtual Worlds & Gamers (but fascinating insight regardless)
- The Guild Leader’s Handbook: Strategies & Guidance from a Battle-Scarred MMO Veteran, Scott F Andrews (2010)
Broader social media & marketing makes for a long list, but here are some popular ones with crossover below:
- Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us, Seth Godin (2008)
- The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web, Tamar Weinberg (2009)
- Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust, Chris Brogan (2010)
- The Thank You Economy: Gary Vaynerchuk (2011)
- The Whuffie Factor: The Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business, Tara Hunt (2009)
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, Tony Hseih (2010) < thanks to @Nimapt for the addition
If you want to delve into further into designing for community, knowledge management, virtual worlds, gaming or another area there are plenty more to read. If you have any recommendations you’d like to have added, please drop me a comment. Thanks!