Best part: meeting people in person and sharing their passion - for the game, for whatever they’re into.
Worst part… hard to say. Not because there’s lots of worst parts, but because some days one thing is the worst, other days it’s something else.
I will say that often the worst parts of a community manager’s job are not caused by the community or by themselves. :)
It’s hard but it’s not impossible. I like to think I’m smart enough to know which folk are just interested in the game and which are actually friendly towards me as a person. I also think I have a pretty good sense about who is ‘creepy’ and who isn’t.
Generally speaking, by the way, very few people are ‘creepy’. People are often different than the norm, but so are we (although arguably, not so much in today’s geek saturated culture). I try to always remember that whenever I talk to someone, especially as generally speaking I’m not that much different from them myself.
Read this for my story.
I cannot imagine what a course would teach you. Most people I know in Community got into it through either being a fan, or coming from a similar area like journalism, PR, marketing, customer service.
To get in ‘cold’ my best advice is to start a fansite. You’ll learn a load of things about the ‘job’ of community management from handling your own forums, blog, etc etc.