Let me guess – you launched a private community and it was a dismal failure. Or you’re too stubborn to admit that it’s dying a slow death. Here is what happened – you hired me to build you a beautiful garden. I come back in 3 months and everything is dead. I tell you to fire the gardener and you ask – what gardener! So in 3 months you haven’t watered, fertilized, pruned, or otherwise taken care of the garden and you were magically expecting a beautiful basket of fruits and vegetables? That’s exactly what happens with many private communities. Regardless of the provider – not really but I’ll get to that in a minute – it’s NOT just about a cool tool…. I am often asked about the ongoing care and feeding of an online community and I have found that making the analogy to tending a garden resonates with everyone. We all have had the experience of trying to grow a tomato or keep a house plant alive. It’s not easy. There are tricks, there are a ton of tips, but until you have actually done it successfully, it can be really frustrating. Plant it and it will grow, is similar to build it and they will come. Neither are true. Right? You have to do more than just build it or plant it. You have to nurture, cajole, seduce and dedicate precious time to assuring success. That tomato doesn’t grow itself, it needs help. Your community will not grow itself either. [Read more…]
For those of you that are lucky enough to be in Hong Kong for Siggraph Asia you will want to watch this short video to make sure you don’t miss a single connection while you are there. To get the most out of your time onsite, you will want to make sure that you have signed into the eventNetwork. If you don’t remember your login or password, send us an email to – or enter the email that you used to register for the conference with in the Retrieve Password field on the front page, then you can get started. We have been to hundreds of conferences and know how hard it is to make connections, especially if you are new to the industry. This video will give you some great tips on how to find people, how to send them a message to meet onsite and how to find people once you are back home. Click here to login to the eventNetwork.
We are thrilled to be working with SIGGRAPH to provide a platform for an initiative that is now in it’s third year, the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium. The event is held the first day of the annual SIGGRAPH conference and draws executives from the various businesses that attend this tradeshow and educational conference dedicated to Computer Graphics. This year there will be a focus on mentoring and collaboratively working to address key industry issues that are affecting all of the attendees. The organizing committee was looking for a platform that would assist them in the matching of mentors and decided that introNetworks Visual Matching Engine inside of the eventNet would work.
“As the leaders in the Computer Graphics industry, our attendees have either ‘made it’ or ‘seen it’ so they demand the highest level of production values and functionality. The introNetworks way of visualizing connections is unique and something we believe will engage, delight and encourage them to make connections that will last long after the Symposium.” – Evan Hirsch, SIGGRAPH Business Symposium Chair.We worked with the organizers to fine-tune the Visual Matching Engine to address the need for matches that would be tailored to business and issues related to the enterprises represented as opposed to computer graphic related terms. The community will be up after the conference to serve as a reference and area for conversation related to topics that are kicked off at the day long Symposium. Ironically it was just over ten years ago that we attended SIGGRAPH (our first one was in 1984) and it will feel good to be back around people that are passionate about the business of computer graphics. Our focus now is on information visualization as it serves real humans as opposed to creating tools to build virtual humans. Note: Before introNetworks, I co-founded Wavefront Technologies, which became Alias|Wavefront which is now owned by our good friends Autodesk, who continue to innovate the software now called Maya. Video sent to the attendees:
One of the most important people involved in the success of one of our networks is the Community Manager. We pay a lot of attention to them and work closely to make sure the platform helps them be successful. In any profession it is great to have a support community to lean on and to learn from. Community Managers are very fortunate to have the Community Roundtable as a resource. They have recently relaunched their website and it’s even better than ever. You can sign up for their materials and learn a lot. We suggest to all of our clients that they take advantage of this vibrant community. The founders (@JimStorer and @RHappe) are fantastic and passionate about delivering tremendous value, which extends beyond the Community Managers and to the executives who make decisions about implementing social strategies. They are also agnostic about internal or external communities and there’s plenty to learn from commingling the people responsibile for the different types of networks. They just published this great deck for Community Managers that we thought we’d share here. This gets into a lot of the real issues that come up after time and are only now really getting visibility now that many organizations have a few years of experience running communities. We appreciate your comments and encourage you to let us know your thoughts about this fascinating topic.
introNetworks started in 2003 as a project to connect the attendees at the then very private TED Conference. Since those lofty beginnings the platform has been extended to the world of TEDx and is used to connect attendees at a local level in communities that want to make smarter connections and share “Ideas Worth Spreading”
TEDx Event Community Goals
- Find other attendees based on I Am, I Seek, I Value and What’s Relevant
- Create meaningful conversations before, during and after the event
- Learn from others that share similar values and reasons for attending
- Find like-minded attendees and start special interest groups
Connecting Attendees in Advance of the EventOne of the challenges for TEDx is connecting a very disparate group of people who come from different parts of the local Community. They all share a common passion of learning and new experiences and celebrate the diversity of opinion and thought that is typical of a TEDx event. Being invited to create a fun and interesting profile extends the TEDx experience right at the time attendees’ register and helps to get them even more excited about the upcoming event.
Working with the Organizing CommitteeAs TEDx is independently organized and run entirely by volunteers, it is critical that there is a very easy to understand way to design, launch and grow the Community. We worked with the TEDxMidwest team two years in a row to understand the unique aspects of their event, it’s one of the largest in the US, and draws a large percentage of CEO’s, business leaders and influential citizens from the region. This means that the design needed to be very engaging so that attendees didn’t feel like they were wasting their time on yet another social network. Designing the Profile to be relevant to what they want to get out of the event was a prime consideration for the committee.
Using the network to gather insights on the attendeesOne of the things that the event organizers appreciated after their first year as they went into planning the second year was the metrics the platform reported. Being able to understand deeply what people were seeking, how they described themselves, what values were predominant among attendees was critical as they reimagined the community the following year.
“We are extremely happy with the introNetworks system for both tracking milestones, info, and communicating with attendees and more importantly getting people who do not know each other to meet long before our event.” – Mike Hettwer, Executive Producer, TEDxMidwest and TEDxMidwestYouth