Getting Involved: Online Communities

Sep 2011
6

Getting Involved: Online Communities

Posted by Samantha Morris
 

I’m really excited about www.BackupHeroes.com. It’s a unique online community specifically created for backup and storage professionals.  Since beginning here at Asigra in November, I’ve been involved in the community’s development and it has been very exciting for me.

When I was thinking about my role as a Community Manager,  what it would entail and before I could start, I had to do some research in order to completely understand what makes a great online community and more importantly, the benefits of getting involved in one.

I thought it’d be great to share some of that information with all of you who may already be a part of an online community or are interested in getting involved in one. 

In general terms, a community, whether offline or on, is comprised of individuals that share similar interests. Its members have the ability to interact by sharing information, asking and answering questions, as well as meet a diverse group of people with fresh perspectives and differing opinions.   What’s great about an online community is the ability to do all this regardless of location and time zone, bringing people together that may not have otherwise met or interacted, in one central location on the web. 

There are a couple reasons you may want to get involved in an online community, including just for fun, personal development, status and recognition or to simply be a part of something with other people who share your interests. 

Online communities, should you choose the right one, can provide a wealth of useful information. A thriving community, with varying types of members, will give you access to new information on a consistent basis.  In addition, you’ll most likely have access to subject experts and peers who can answer your questions and give you advice on how to solve problems.

Here’s the bonus with online communities, it’s free. The only thing that it will cost you is time and in my opinion, it is time well spent.  You get to meet new people, get their opinions and advice, sometimes professional advice and it won’t cost you a dime.  And if you really want to go for the gusto; you can create your own online community using a myriad of the free tools out there. 

I found a really great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about online communities. I think this document is definitely a great place to start. You can access the 12 Principles of Online Communities by Cynthia Typaldos here.

Oh…and as a Backup Heroes recruiter, I’d like to personally invite all of you Backup Heroes out there to sign up to new community we all share and now, so can you!   

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