For the last few years, I have been using this blog and my @seanrnicholson Twitter account to provide information about Intranets and their impacts on organizations. Looking back of the relationships I have built, lessons I have learned, and responses to the blog articles and tweets, I’d say it’s been a resounding success. But, things change…and in the digital world, sometimes things change quickly.
Last year, I was offered a unique opportunity to leverage my extensive experience building internal networks outside of the corporate walls, building relationships with online communities and helping companies build their social media strategies. It was a big decision to move beyond my Intranet/ECM focus to broader social communities, but I decided to take the plunge and haven’t regretted it for a moment. My experience building internal communities, identifying ways for employees to share knowledge, and developing measurement plans for Intranet and ECM solutions has translated directly to the world of social media.
As part of my new role, I have been tweeting at @socmedsean and blogging at SocMedSean.com about trends and new opportunities for organizations to leverage the power of social media. What I have found, however, is that the world of social media community building is very similar to the world of Intranet community building. In fact, I continue to recommend to clients that they engage their Intranet professionals when developing their social media strategies.
After all, many of these folks have been building communities for over decade and understand the opportunities, challenges, and risks involved with online engagement. Both are tasked with identifying their target communities, listening to their needs, and then finding ways to meet those needs through engaging and sharing, so it only makes sense for them to collaborate. Unfortunately, I have noticed that Intranet Managers and Social Media Managers often don’t connect and share their strategies and experiences. What this leads to is a lot of re-inventing the wheel. Yech!
In an effort to bridge these communications and find ways to connect professional community managers (both internal and external), I have decided to create a new community at WithInFluence.com focused on sharing community-building thoughts, best practices, and experiences. This community is a closed-community, available by invitation-only to professionals who manage communities as their primary responsibility.
The community is a work in progress and I am currently looking for a few brave souls (aka “beta testers) who are interested in participating, sharing, and providing suggestions on how to tweak the functionality and grow the community. Interested? Send me a DM via Twitter at @socmedsean and I’ll send you an invite . I’d also be interested in hearing your thoughts/comments about this kind of community in the comments.