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 CommunitiesAmy Jo Kim (2000)
- The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic FrontierHoward Rheingold (2000)
- The Cluetrain Manifesto: 10th Anniversary Edition
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 Rich Millington (2012)
- The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation Jono Bacon (2009)
- Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards Patrick O’Keefe (2008)
- Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities Etienne Wenger (2009)
- Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing KnowledgeEtienne Wenger, Richard McDermott and William Synder (2002)
- Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies Charlene Li & Joshua Bernoff (revised ed 2011)
- Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into CollaboratorsClay Shirky (2011)
- Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without OrganizationsClay Shirky (2009)
- Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning)(2009)
(Particularly relevant if youth is your Community Management focus.)
- 18 Rules of Community Engagement: A Guide for Building Relationships and Connecting With Customers OnlineAngela Connor (2009)
- Threadless: Ten Years of T-shirts from the World’s Most Inspiring Online Design Community(2010)
- Companies and Communities: Participating without being sleazyDawn M. Foster (2009)
- Online Community Management For DummiesDeborah Ng
- Social Networking for Nonprofits: Increasing Engagement in a Mobile and Web 2.0 WorldAndy Steggles (2010) < thanks to Anne-margaret Olsson for this addition.
- Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social DesignRobert E. Kraut and Paul Resnick. (2012)
For Community Designers, Programmers, UI/UX peeps etc.
- Building Web Reputation SystemsRandy Farmer, Bryce Glass (2010)
- Design for CommunityDerek Powazek (2001)
- Design to Thrive: Creating Social Networks and Online Communities that LastTharon Howard (2010)
- Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience (Animal Guide)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 and Guidance from a Battle-Scarred MMO VeteranScott 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 UsSeth Godin (2008)
- The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social WebTamar Weinberg (2009)
- Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn TrustChris Brogan (2010)
- The Thank You EconomyGary Vaynerchuk (2011)
- The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your BusinessTara Hunt (2009)
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and PurposeTony 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!