The Community Roundtable – like any good community – relies on everyone playing a part to be successful. The great thing about community networks is that very often participants get back proportionally more than they contribute and that is what makes communities sustainable. As a young community, Jim & I have relied on each of our constituent groups – members, facilitators, cheeseheads, and partners – to take a leap of faith with us as we work to create a highly active and valuable community. Communities don’t actually look much like communities with 5 members and so those members that gave us their faith and trust early on that The Community Roundtable would grow to be more than what is was were critical to us. So in this season of Thanksgiving, we are pretty darn thankful to those individuals who believed enough in the vision we had to step up and participate.
While we don’t reveal the names of our members without consent – members who have been active and publicly supportive are the core of what The Community Roundtable is. Heather Strout, Rachel Makool, Dawn Lacallade, Mike Pascucci, Ryan Eades, Naomi Marr, Jamie Pappas, Ken Burbary, Nigel Fortlage, Mark Wallace, & Maggie McGary have been particularly involved and supportive. They are our rockstars (and if you are in community management, you might want to add them to your rockstar list too!). We thank them for taking the leap to join a small network of passionate community and social media managers and for the insight and experience they share with the group.
Another group of individuals who have been incredibly generous with us are our Facilitators. This group includes mostly independent consultants who have deep expertise in one area that is relevant to community management. They have joined in to share their expertise and help our members think through some of their questions and challenges. The result has been a rich set of conversations and resulting best practices and lessons learned that we feed back into the community. These experts are people we trust and recommend to our members as people worth listening to – and we recommend them to those looking for expertise in the areas they cover. Included in this talented crew are: Francois Gossieaux, Laura Fitton, Leslie Poston, Mark Yolton, Steve Garfield, Beth Kanter, Cynthia Gilbert, Janet Fouts, Nathan Gilliatt, Michael Katz, KD Paine, Len Devanna, and Gia Lyons. We thank our facilitators for sharing their experience and expertise with our members – the personal connection and conversations have been wonderful.
One more group of individuals we want to thank are those people that manage companies with aligned missions and see the importance of community management to the success of their customers. We’ve partnered with Burton Group, Rosetta, KickApps, introNetworks, and Powered through the leadership of Mike Gotta, Adam Cohen, Michael Chin, Mark Sylvester, and Aaron Strout. We are incredibly honored to be in the company of these individuals and companies and thank them for their enthusiastic support – they provide us with recognition and credibility that would be hard to achieve in isolation. Look for more in the coming months.
We are also thankful for a whole set of individuals in the Boston area who join us for our #TheCRLive lunches (see the #TheCRLive Twitter List) and some cheeseheads and others who have reached out to us, given us their time and advice, or encouraged us – often without anything particular to gain themselves. When we started The Community Roundtable in the spring I wrote a post, It Take A Village about what it takes to start a business and over the past six months that early hypothesis has been confirmed. A community is all about relationships and we are incredibly thankful to have some great ones with people we respect and enjoy.
As a personal note I’m pretty thankful to have partnered with Jim Storer – while we didn’t know exactly what we were getting ourselves into he and I have found that we compliment each other very well. We wouldn’t be where we are without his thoughtful leadership, excellent community management instincts, great negotiating skills, podcast wizardry, and fine dry wit.
We hope you have a wonderful (is off-line too much to hope for?) Thanksgiving with family and friends!