Hard to believe, but it’s Thanksgiving again.
It’s a year of milestones and changes for those young and old in my life. My daughter graduated kindergarten and headed into 1st grade. Just this month, I lost one aunt to cancer at 81 while the other told me she was getting remarried at 74.
Compared to that, community seems almost placid in comparison. But it has been a year of flux, in the community vendor space in particular, and a year of milestones for TheCR in research and training. And none of those milestones would have been possible without a lot of help.
The State of Community Management is a team effort – it takes multiple members of our team to design it, crunch it, market it, write it, edit it, print it, talk about it, and learn from it. Jillian Bejtlich breaks from her day-to-day number chores to help turn our survey data into actual insights. Rachel Happe turns it from a wall of 200,000 data cells into big ideas. Shannon Abram helps me turn nerdy insights into valuable, sharable nuggets. Sarita Geisel makes it something worth looking at.
But it wouldn’t be nearly as powerful without the members of TheCR Network. I’m thankful for them every day for the wisdom, insights and intelligence they bring our little party. Our discussions of survey design, best questions, critical segments and best practices challenged my brain and inspired it, too. I love the fact that we have a network not shy about getting into the muck and mire with us, to get the job done and push back when they think we’re off-target.
This year also marked an expansion of our TheCR Connect conference to a 2-day affair. I developed an involuntary twitch just as Jim Storer looked for volunteers to help run this year’s event, so under his wise tutelage, I had the chance to work with the always resilient Hillary Boucher and the always smiling Amy Turner to get ‘er done. And it was wonderful – because of them, and again because of members who shared their insights and stories, with us and with each other. Want to know why you join a community? Those two days were why in a nutshell.
“In both life and community, it’s the people. And I’m thankful again this year that I am surrounded by great ones.”
There was much more, too. We watched Noah Stolkner learn and grow as our Fellow in TheCR Network. Jerry Green came on board later in the year and took over some of our training responsibilities. We have big plans. Georgina Cannie is working with Jillian on some other “big future ideas” and, except for the day when she noted I was the same age as her mother, is someone else on our awesome team I love working with every chance I get.
We spend a lot of our time worrying about the stuff we have, want or need. In life, it’s worrying about money, jobs, cars and homes. In community, it’s platforms, metrics, resources, and data. Funny how few of those items get mentioned when we talk about what we’re thankful for.
That’s because in both life and community, it’s the people. And I’m thankful again this year that I am surrounded by great ones. I hope you all #thankitforward.