Ok - wait a minute. This article is amazing! I am so glad that you wrote about this subject. THANK YOU!!!
For a split second; when I first started reading the first part of the title, I thought, 'oh another story about a brand's Superusers. I'll check it out'. But props to you, @mhock for flipping the script a bit and actually sharing the story of discovering and galvanizing the right employees within your company to become part of the Community's success story.
A weird thing about our very own B2B high-tech Atlas Community is that even though Khoros sells Community software, and just about every single employee is aware of our Atlas Community, we still have a ways to go with getting a majority of our employee base to actually use it with any level of consistency.
Granted, I am a big believer in a brand offering to meet people in the channel of their choice, but I am unrepentant and unapologetic in my belief that Community is they most efficient way to create, preserve, and curate knowledge of the folksy variety. And why should this not extend to internal 'institutional knowledge' as well?
A successful Community does not have to begin and end exclusively with customers. Actually, in my experience, a great B2B high-tech community has a lively employee area that goes unseen by the customers. And the golden fleece eventually becomes a few of those employees voluntarily and organically participating (within the Employee Guidelines of course) in the customer area of the Community.
Thanks again for the article. It was a refreshing read.
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Thank you, @CoryD, for the brilliant editing and production touch-ups.
And thank you to @CrystalL for all of the coordination and management.
This first dive of mine into joining the podcast was fun, and I am looking forward to helping with many more in the future. Nothing but deep respect for my co-hosts as well. What a great bunch to roll with!
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Is the fact that "community" has become a defined term across many industries is it limiting itself in encompassing more experiences? e.g. "forums" where the thing 20 years ago, but have lost a lot of their hotness since. What'll be following on "community"? - Claudius Henrichs, Dataiku
Hmmmmm.....this is a very good question that takes me into more philosophical waters.
In the old days (1990s) we did not even call Online Communities, 'communities'. They were mostly called boards, message boards, BBS (Bulletin Board Systems), or forums. When Blogs came along (with their accompanying 'comments'), I think people started to loosen their grip on what was called a 'Community' in net speak. When Dell came along with the Idea Storm, I think that was another shot across the bow for how we as a culture, define 'online Community'. Last but not least, KnowledgeBases that allow commenting can be considered 'Community' now.
And to add even a little bit more chaos to the nomenclature; when Brand Communities really started arriving on the scene (as opposed to classic 'hobbyist' communities that were the most well-known), a lot of these brand's already had a concept of what 'Community' meant for their brand and how they defined it on their website...and those definitions of 'Community' had more to do with what the brand was doing to assist struggling. neighborhoods and assisting non-profits.
Language is an ever-evolving thing, and so is the internet. It probably only gets even more complicated when somebody like yourself, Claudius, that speaks 3+ languages tries to make sense of all this. Personally, I regularly clarify with our customers and/or prospective customers from the outset that when I am speaking about Community, I am primarily talking about 'forums', but I am also tangentially including all those other interaction styles I cited above as well.
Thanks for the question, and thank you for attending, Claudius. Always great to cross paths with you. 🙂
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