Why are we losing great community resources? Why is everything going commercial, why does everyone want money for their time?
There is no such thing as a community.
Oh sure, there are many brilliant people, many sociable people, many caring people and really just outright skilled peers that you can talk shop – and if you’re really a great person (or pretty) people might continue talking to you after the event. Every now and then they might drop you an email, or their blog address, or something of relevance… but,
There is no community.
Don’t get me wrong, once upon a time there was such a thing as a community, in which people wrote long emails, helped one another, blogged, put up podcasts, video blogs, wrote amazing books..
Where did they go?
Well, we’re still out there. We’re still talking, still networking, still helping one other out at all hours of the day and night. What, nobody invited you? Well, here’s the funny thing. When you don’t support those people that provide these items to you free of charge under the hope that you’ll learn something from it and extend the same courtesy to the people that have come after you… when you choose not to invest anything in your local community and only pick and choose to go to events where you might get something without ever putting any of your knowledge on the line… when the leaders of this community organize events and you don’t go to them because you’re too busy… when its in your budget to constantly take but never in the budget to contribute or give back… when it’s a community only when it benefits to you but “it’s just business, Vlad” when you have to support someone else… when you constantly challenge and insult those who actually care to contribute their knowledge in the open… when survey after survey comes up and you ignore it because you’re too busy to help the very people that want to help you and are only asking for some direction…
When all of that happens, the leaders lose interest and they share it behind the closed doors or behind the counter as a service. And they aren’t the ones to blame, you are:
If you don’t regularly attend your local UG meetings..
If you don’t support the people and organizations that support community events..
If you don’t support the webcasts and presentations..
If you do nothing to share what you’ve learned with someone else..
If you don’t have a blog or a wiki or any way in which you’re willing to make your opinion known..
Well, what do you expect?
For a week now there has been a survey out there asking the global SBS community members to post their opininions. The guy that put it together posted today wondering why there has been such a low response rate, given the size of the community? Someone forwarded me Chris’s blog post about how few people attended Microsoft’s quarterly partner summit. Amy sent me a newsletter the other day saying that only 50 people are paying members of the community she has built – and mind you, she has been to more SBS user groups as a free speaker than I can count.
You take the contributors to this community for granted and then have the decency to ask why Microsoft doesn’t care about you, why you have to pay for information, when the next SBS group meeting is going to be, when the next UG meeting is going to be, when the next SBS Show is coming out, when the documentation for something is going to come out, when the next video will be posted?
When you stop thinking only about yourself and how the community benefits you. The community has benefited me and Own Web Now tremendously, but thats because I invested into it. If you aren’t investing into things, you can’t expect any returns.
As Robbie says: It’s that simple.