Amanda was one of our speakers at the Women in Tech meetup on 12 November. Her 300 Seconds was on her experience of community management.
Working as Communities Editor for Bizarre magazine – the alternative culture bible that’s been causing controversy on the newsstands for almost 15 years – Amanda has seen some odd things in her inbox…
With email subject lines such as “Women licking door handles”, “The Human Centipede for real” and “Scar Wars Part Toe: Revenge of the Cyst”, Amanda has developed a thick skin and healthy sense of humour when managing Bizarre’s reader contributions and using social media to harvest content for the magazine’s 19-page user-supplied section. And with over 128,000 ‘likes’ for the Bizarre Facebook page and 43,000 Twitter followers, Amanda is one of the busiest Community Editors in publishing.
In her 300 Seconds talk, Amanda took attendees back to her childhood – where she was “not your average kid” – and showed how her joy of dressing up and creative family environment set her on the road to weirdness.
After finishing a fine art and illustration degree in 2011, Amanda admits that she lacked direction, and gravitated towards her favourite magazine for work experience. And after impressing staff at Blackthorn Communications – a creative agency that produces all Bizarre editorial content and manages the brand online – with her knowledge of alternative culture and strong work ethic, it wasn’t long before she’d made herself indispensable, even though a career in social media had never been on her radar.
Citing the adage “you don’t need to be mad to work here…”, Amanda entertained an appreciative 300 Seconds audience with details on the strange and unusual content she sources for the magazine, and the challenges involved in managing a social network that attracts vocal users who are passionate about the Bizarre brand.
“The alternative scene is very much the underdog, but we like it that way,” Amanda says. “There’s nothing else like Bizarre, and it’s a brand you can step into and participate with. But you need to be one of the weird ones…”