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August 23, 2007

Get Your Copernicus On: An Open Challenge to GroupLeads

People people...everywhere. People people...do you care?

There were so many new people I met over the last several days at CMP XChange, it was crucial that I did my card sort last night.

You know…jotting additional notes on all the biz cards, assigning a priority order for contacting people. I do that before I use my $350 wonder, which magically transforms all those cards into the primary raw material I need to build my business…

ACTIONABLE DATA

Despite being dog-tired, I knew if I slept first, I’d never remember all the little tidbits I needed to sort effectively.

And one surprising thing I noted as I was going through them all? I collected more cards from SMB peers than vendors. For the first time EVER!

I always visit every vendor booth at CMP’s conferences, just to make sure there isn’t some new kickass solution I haven’t heard of yet. Orlando was no exception. So there are plenty of vendor business cards in my stack.

But my point is there were simply a TON of folks there who are SMB providers, loud and proud.

And none of them..

As in zero…

Knew anything about the SBS/SMB community that so many of us take for granted.

Wait.

Let me re-phrase that. The SBS/SMB community that WAAAAAY too many of us think of in whacked out, heliocentric, stuck-in-the-Dark-Ages terms.

Heliocentrism...BAD!

Other words…

It’s high time we stop thinking we are the center of the universe. The end-all, be-all. The Alpha and The Omega of IT in SMB. We need to be more like this guy…

Copernicus. The Original Big Think. OBT. Word.

The simple fact remains that there are SCADS of people…doing stupendously amazing work in SMB…who have no earthly idea about our community.

Worse yet….

These folks are living and working in places that already have SBS user groups.

So I have to wonder…

WTH is everybody who calls themselves a community “leader” doing about it?

I know…

I was one of the countless nameless, faceless and totally oblivious horde before 2005. Truth of matter, I was someone who had been kicking some serious ass with SBS and the whole SMB solution stack for a while. Took my company to the upper echelon of the MS Partner program, with just 1.5 people, in 6 months.

As the story goes, in the summer of 2005, I just happened to meet Anne Stanton at an accounting industry (kill me now) IT conference, who introduced me to Susan Bradley virtually, after the conference was over. Because, even tho Susan was also at that conference, and even sitting in some of the same sessions, she and I never met there at all. We never met in person until SMBN 2005 a good 3 months later. Through our now legendary “See, this is a blog/See, this is a nametag” exchange at breakfast.

But that’s 2 whole years ago. And, as a group, we haven’t made a whole lot more progress in that regard. I know this for a documented fact. With statistics that back me up all the way.

Just like any kind of living thing, a healthy community needs to be a growing community. It can be growing a little. It can be growing a lot. But to stay alive, the community must have new blood. Or…as I shall hereafter refer to them…

TEAM NEWBLOOD

Had to call it Team Newblood so I didn't infringe on Image. But no way I'll even try to Photochop that one.

I think that sounds hellaciously better than newbies, rookies, or anything else that carries the connotation of amateur. Trust me when I tell you…most of these people should be presenting at conferences. Which makes all of us already in the communitythe newbies.

As much as I like all the folks in our current, tiny little atoll of the tech industry…

I honestly believe THIS issue, that of active community recruitment, should be the number one topic for the GroupLeads meeting at SMBN in Redmond.

|| posted by chris under clueless, community, epiphany, opinion, thumbs down || comments (20) || ||

20 comments »

  1. [...] Since I’ve recently issued a challenge re: a community recruitment project codenamed… [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 001 — August 24, 2007 @ 5:07 am

  2. Has recruiting ever stopped?

    In general it is more of a matter of the balance of energy. Does energy go towards soothing the souls of existing leaders and offseting the negative (perhaps this piece can go away or be shared) or toward talking with new potential leaders and new potential members.

    The Goal: Micro and Small Businesses need the 1-10 person IT Professionals more today than at any other time. Particularly those in the know who have great relationships with the vendors who GET this space and who continue to learn and be openminded to what they can offer.

    Microsoft Small Business Server is such a powerful product and good fit, AND (this is a big and) the added layer for clients that the development team from Microsoft (not to mention the entire SBSC team at Microsoft) gets it! Why do they get it? They get it because of their tie and unpreceddented success with the SBS MVPs and the energy and passion of the (*yes tiny in comparison) community.

    Other vendors get it as well and are making huge wins in expanding their channel and appropriate products by working with the existing and always growing groups (Austin being the latest new group, Atlanta being the latest revitalized group). Storagecraft, Exclaimer, BackupAssist, CA, TrendMicro, ConnectWise, Autotask, Level Platforms, and more..

    Too often the noise of negative overwhelms the actions of the positives..

    comment by Anne Stanton — August 24, 2007 @ 6:49 am

  3. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the next community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 002 — August 24, 2007 @ 8:15 am

  4. Starting and promoting a user group is just like starting up a new business. It take persistance, care and feeding, more persistance and flat out work. On top of that I got flack for starting one in my area. We try really hard to get the word out and the roughly 13 or so that show up every month are proof that its working but it’s small scale and simply takes time. Not to mention that we do it all for free. Building that kind of dedication up in the steering committee (as we call them) doesn’t come easily. No foolin’. Running a user group is no cake walk.

    comment by Amy Babinchak — August 24, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  5. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the next community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 003 — August 24, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

  6. [...] Since I’ve recently issued a challenge re: a community recruitment project codenamed… [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » Putting Myself Where My Challenge Is — August 25, 2007 @ 3:37 pm

  7. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the next community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 004 — August 25, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

  8. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the next community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 005 — August 25, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

  9. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the next community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 006 — August 25, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

  10. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the next community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 007 — August 26, 2007 @ 6:37 am

  11. [...] one for ever letting a challenge go by without being answered, here is some of my essential Community Resources. Now, I can’t [...]

    pingback by » Team Newblood - Gareth Brown — August 26, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

  12. Team NEWBlood – Robert Crane…

    Robert is an SBSer, and a long term participant in the Sydney SBS Group , he will go out of his way to…

    trackback by David Mackie's Blue Brain — August 27, 2007 @ 2:35 am

  13. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the next community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 008 — August 27, 2007 @ 8:38 am

  14. [...] part of the Funcave’s continuing series on the TEAM NEWBLOOD challenge, here is the final community resource on our [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » TEAM NEWBLOOD Dossier 009 — August 27, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

  15. [...] Firewall got it right on the money almost 2 weeks ago, right off the bat, with her response to my open challenge to GroupLeads post. If I had to boil it down, tho…here’s the money [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » The Two Amys Nailed It — September 5, 2007 @ 4:05 am

  16. Which smb community are you talking about in this post – you didn’t mention it? I know there is the partner website and the sbsc bit, the yahoo groups etc but you didn’t actually mention which group no one knows about, so this might be one of the reasons no one knows about it!

    comment by Andy — September 8, 2007 @ 7:49 am

  17. @ Andy…

    If it were just one group, or aspect, or initiative…then I prolly wouldn’t have ever posted anything in the first place.

    I’m talking about eeeeeverything, all the little parts and pieces, that we call “The Community.”

    And if we’re missing such broad swaths of people, even with the shotgun blasts of stuff that’s out there now…

    Then I tend to think we’re not even hitting the broad side of a barn. Which means, to me anyway, it’s way past time to work on our aim.

    comment by chris — September 8, 2007 @ 9:01 am

  18. [...] Challenge to GroupLeads has been generating a TON of traffic over on the Yahoo Group, and here. Maybe on the Groove site [...]

    pingback by welcome to the funcave » Community, Heal Thyself — September 9, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

  19. Why Travel 6.5 hours round trip to hang out with SBSers…

    Wow last night I explained separately no less than 5 times why I made the trip to the SMBIT Professionals…

    trackback by David Mackie's Blue Brain — June 11, 2008 @ 7:37 am

  20. [...] his general affection for SMB community.  Dean is a true Community Hero and an honorary member of TEAM NEWBLOOD (book him [...]

    pingback by SBSC & MSP Buzz » Blog Archive » Thank You Dean Calvert! — July 2, 2008 @ 8:27 am

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