E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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CommunityBuilders – Online Community Still Crazy After Years with Nancy White

Gran Canaria - Almond Tree and Its Beautiful BlossomContinuing further with that series of blog posts I mentioned in the recent past I would start sharing across on the topic of online community building and facilitating successful communities, as another one of my passions and areas of interest, I thought I would drop by over here today and share further details on a recent education event, that we hosted back in March in one of the IBM communities I co-lead with some other fellow colleagues, CommunityBuilders, and which I am think plenty of folks out there would find it rather interesting, specially, after you find out who our special guest speaker was… Intriguing, eh? hehe I am really happy that I have now got the time to finally share it across with you folks: it was our great pleasure, and true honour, to have with us, for an entire hour, one of the people who has been rather instrumental in helping spark my own interest in online facilitation and online communities over 11 years ago. And I bet that has been the case for several other thousands of people out there, too! Yes, of course, I am talking about the one and only: Nancy White.

If you have been involved with virtual communities and online facilitation, I bet it’s almost impossible not having come across the absolutely fabulous work on facilitating online communities Nancy has done, and shared across!, over the course of the years. Her work around Online Community Toolkit is probably one of those essential resources for any community manager, leader, facilitator out there who may want to get things started with their own online communities, or take existing ones into the next level of interactions. Her book, co-authored with Etienne Wenger and John Smith, on Digital Habitats – Stewarding Technology for Communities is probably what I would consider a bible on online facilitation, community building and community tooling.

I am sure that in a future blog post I would have an opportunity to put together a blog post where I can talk, much more in detail, about the contents of the book and how folks out there interested in both virtual and physical communities could benefit from it. But for now, back to the event we hosted a few weeks back… When I asked Nancy whether she would like to be our special guest speaker for CommunityBuilders by the end of last year and she confirmed she would be with us, I was really excited about the opportunity of finishing off the year with a big splash for our community online events. Alas, life had other plans for all of us, and we eventually hosted the event by the end of March! Talking about perseverance and stubbornness, I guess, right? Either way, we kicked off this year with a great start altogether!

Nearly a month later, I am very pleased to, finally, share across with you folks both the presentation materials that Nancy used during that one hour virtual event, as well as the recording of both the video and audio of the session itself, so that you all would have an opportunity to listen to her pitch while going through the slides. It was an hour long session, where Nancy covered some of the basics behind the concept of Community (And how not everything out there, other groupings, may necessarily be a community), how both technology and community are walking through a rather thin line influencing one another, for the better, in defining how community members connect with one another and how those connections influence the path technology is following; and from there onwards she dived into an engaging conversation with the rest of the audience through a rather lively Q&A session covering a whole bunch of topics going from examples of effective community tooling, communicating efficiently with your community members, measuring the value of communities towards their stakeholders, biggest new challenges for online communities today, promoting and engaging activities for communities, etc. etc.

Thus I guess I better stop here, for now, and cut right to the chase, sharing with you folks the link to the materials, so that you can have a look right away and dive into them. The link to the video recording can be found over at “CommunityBuilders Monthly Call – Online Community Still Crazy After Years with Nancy White” (30 MB download) and you can download a copy of the slides over at Slideshare or start checking the deck through the embedded code below:

 

There is very little more than I would want to add after sharing those resources across, other than encouraging you all to have a look and take the time to download the recording and go through the slides. If you are into online communities, community building and community tooling, it will be worth your time. I can surely vouch for that! We all learned tons! And, once you are done with that, let me also take this opportunity to point you to a recent blog post that a good friend of mine, Matt Moore, shared across over at the Innotecture blog, where he shared three wonderful short interviews (No more than 8 minutes long, for the longest…), where both Nancy and Matt covered the following topics:

  1. “Nancy discusses how networks and communities overlap and differ and what this means for us as members.
  2. Nancy and Matt Moore discuss how to keep community sponsors, community members and yourself happy.
  3. Nancy and Matt Moore discuss how to pay attention to online community dynamics

They were worth it, weren’t they? Lots of wonderful insights shared across in them as well, mainly, on the topic of online communities and (social) networks and how they both work together in unison to get the most out of those member interactions and their conversations. From here onwards nothing else from my side to add, other than to take this opportunity to share a special Thanks!! with Nancy herself for taking the time of being with us at CommunityBuilders and for being such a wonderful inspiration throughout the years! She probably doesn’t know this, but one of the reasons why I am so passionate about collaboration and online communities in general is due to her own contagious passion, expertise and know-how that she continues to share over the course of the years! Mesmerising!

Thanks ever so much, Nancy! Hope you folks enjoy the recording and the materials, just as much as we did! 🙂

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