I spent much of the second half of last year seemingly bashing my head against the proverbial brick wall. My objective was to get two online communities off the ground, I started from scratch, with nothing more than a general direction and a list of some people inside and outside of the business to talk to. It frequently felt like I was on a fool’s errand, off on a wild goose chase, seeking a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow… ok enough of the clichés, it felt like it wasn’t going to work.
I spent an enormous amount of time and energy telling people about these communities, inviting them, showing them around and being super excited about them even though in most cases the members themselves didn’t seem to particularly care.
By the end of year I had started to make progress, both were beginning to show the first signs of life…. then came Christmas and all of those signs vanished. Both were dead, or so I thought.
An amazing thing has happened in the last few weeks, momentum has returned, leaders have been identified and they are running with it!
The point that really brought it home to me, came up in a community leaders meeting this morning. Two of the members had been talking since the last meeting and decided that the community really needed a community charter!! My first instinct was to say “where the hell were you 6 months ago!!!!!?!” (see this post for what I was trying to do), but on reflection it occured to me that the community wasn’t ready for the structure of a charter, it needed time to grow and to create it’s own identity, now after several months that is beginning to happen.
We’re only seeing the green shoots of life, but it is happening and that makes me smile. So to all of you community builders, persist, keep talking to your members and as long as you have laid the foundations you will see the rewards.