Posted on | February 24, 2011 | 1 Comment
Bacon can keep us together
Over the course of my career I have participated in many different kinds of communities. My favourite thus far has to be IT communities. They are the best to learn community relations theory from because everything is exaggerated when you can’t meet face-to-face. When I talk to clients about the power of telling stories, I always reference the SQL Server Community. They are a very large group of Database Administrators, Application Developers and Business Intelligence professionals who all work on Microsoft SQL Server software. They are just awesome people, and they talk about bacon. . . a lot. It’s a common thread throughout the SQL bloggers, and I’ve always wondered when bacon became the bees-knees for the SQL Server Community.
Not long ago, and just for kicks, I started listening in on the Ubuntu Community, perhaps because the community manager wrote the book on community theory, but more likely because I found it ironic his name was Jono Bacon. They talk a lot about heavy metal music: they really connect over it as far as I can tell. Also, when I have my morning espresso, I poke my head into the Reddit Community too. Honestly, I’m there for the cute pictures of kittens, but that community always has a funny story they’re circling around. At the moment it’s Scumbag Steve. Long story
I came across a great article about how non-profits use story telling best to create communities, and now that I’m balancing my participation in my beloved SQL Server Community with clients from various industries, including those in the volunteer sector, one thread that continues weaves its way through each successful community is the ability to tell stories. It’s community theory 101. Blogs and social media are so important to any community relations strategy because when you put a story to any campaign, you’re already ahead. If you can get an emotional response from those stories, you win. People will pass it on.
More importantly, the influencers of any community, or the most engaging, will champion the story: our new-age version of the town crier.No matter what you’re saying, if you find the right evangelist who can communicate the value, you’re on the right path.
So how does this relate to real business strategy? The organizations who create vibrant communities understand that key messaging has to have both personality and consistency. Lululemon is a great example of an organization that tells great stories to create their yoga-inspired community. The messages are as simple as “Friends are more important than money,” but they carry with them the fresh personality of the people they’re targeting, and it fits into all campaigns they run.
So what’s your story? How will each initiative or product you launch not only tell the story of your business but also showcase the personality of those engaged the most? Will your influencers care enough to pass it on?
Posted on | November 22, 2010 | No Comments
That’s right, I like Twitter. I get my news, gossip, and comedic relief from Twitter. It is my lunch and break buddy, and somehow I’m managing a career with Twitter as one of the major points of interest. In fact, teaching businesses how to develop social media strategy has really become my expertise over the last two years. Read more
Posted on | October 20, 2010 | No Comments
I’ve lived in Edmonton for about 4 months now, and I’ve only just started to reach out to the technical community here. Read more
Posted on | September 27, 2010 | No Comments
My city is in the midst of municipal elections. I’m voting on October 18th, and if you live in Edmonton, I hope you are too. This year I’m taking much more of an active role in my city’s future. As a person who spent the last three years living in Vancouver, a city where the people wear their municipal pride like badges of honour, I want to know the reasons why living in Edmonton doesn’t inspire bragging rights. I grew up in Edmonton: it’s my home, and I want have pride in my city. Read more
Posted on | September 1, 2010 | No Comments
One of my favourite blog posts of the last year was Brent Ozar’s post about what Community means to him. At that time I had just finished reading my Community Relations bible “the Art of Community” by Jono Bacon and was rounding out my first year trying to lead the PASS Community. When I moved back to my home town this July, my obsession with understanding what Community really means was full tilt. Read more
Posted on | August 18, 2010 | No Comments
What a trip it’s been! Since leaving PASS in July, I’ve been busy setting up my own consulting business, and I needed to share with you my journey thus far: Read more
Posted on | August 11, 2010 | No Comments
I just had an interesting conversation about the relevancy of my participation in a community where I’m still very active. I like SQL Server nerds. It’s hard to explain how much fun these people are but let me try. Read more
Posted on | July 8, 2010 | No Comments
When most organizations look at accountability structures, it’s with the intent to keep individuals or groups in line. The general feeling of accountability is that if you do not accomplish a set of goals, there will be a formalized set of actions taken as a consequence. Read more
Posted on | July 8, 2010 | No Comments
Organizations with the strongest Communities all seem to have transparency figured out. They understand how to involve their customers in decision making processes through creative platforms, share their successes, and evaluate projects, all while keeping lines of communication open and honest. Read more
Posted on | January 31, 2010 | No Comments
We hear the word all the time: Community. We all live belong to one, whether it’s blocks wide, a city deep, or a global network. Read more