A few community building thoughts

I’m like sooooo into all this community building stuff.  It’s just so easy for me to lose myself in it.

What communities am I building?

I’m not quite sure whether Project Brighton is or will be classed as a community – it’s more bringing existing communities together.  However, it is evolving in ways that I didn’t originally plan – this is why I don’t focus too much on the planning these kind of things!

In a very short (and not trying to analyse things too much), here are some comments on my experiences.

Brighton Girl Geeks

  • Girl Geeks has been very successful – I’m still trying to figure out why.  Can you tell me?
  • The most rewarding thing for me is seeing something grow from nothing.
  • I love the human contact of the community, using technology to bring people together socially offline is great (fun).
  • It’s scary.
  • It’s hard work.
  • It’s rewarding, mostly reputation and socially wise.
  • It’s the best confidence booster I’ve ever had.
  • It’s fun.
  • Whilst I’m happy for other people to be involved, I believe if I don’t keep it going, no one will.  Does someone want to take on the challenge?
  • I get to meet cool people.
  • Blog, wiki, Upcoming, LinkedIn and Ning have been the mail tools for promotion.
  • Am always playing with new ideas, such as the lunches and coffees.
  • Am eternally grateful to the girl geek organisers and sponsors…wouldn’t have been the same without their support.

Software Testing Club

  • Gotta love Ning.  So easy to set up an online community.
  • It requires maintenance, building and creativity.  Most people expect communities to suddenly grow just because there is an online space to communicate.  The easy part is setting up, the hard is to keep it going as something useful.
  • LinkedIn has been great to help it grow recently.  I created a Software Testing Club LinkedIn group that recently started to grow fairly rapidly (mostly down to people seeing their contacts join through status updates).  People are like sheep sometimes.
  • Aggregating and publishing RSS is a great way to keep fresh content and have the content owners come and join the group.
  • Don’t think the club would have worked if I didn’t have a blog with a respectable and testing focused readership.
  • Have just started to monetize it, not much, but it’s a start.
  • I do my best to give everything a human touch.
  • Am trying to create localised groups to make it easier for people to meetup face to face or just find local help.  The internet has made it too easy for people to forget about their neighbours.
  • Sometimes I see things that I’m not entirely happy with, though am not entirely sure how to deal with it.