Community Building Tip #394

While community building has been around as long as our cave dwelling ancestors it's undergone a revival in recent years with the rise of social media. In a more connected world it's both easier--and much harder to build a strong community. People often ask me how I built a strong network--in Boulder within a few months from basically zero and how my Twitter following grew 1000% in less than a year. Let me start with one of the biggest tips.

Don't game the system.

In the Twitter world this looks like following hundreds of people in an attempt to get them to follow you. Once they do--poof! you unfollow them. This is usually done in an attempt to gain followers as well as boost your ratio between followers and following. This is bad, bad, bad. Don't do this. You may build a following in the short term but once people figure out your game you'll lose followers--and credibility. Don't be that guy.

In the professional world this often shows up as  a one-way relationship where you receive or only focus on getting your needs met. You know these people. It's all about me, me, me. And when it's finally your turn it's as if a black hole swallowed them whole and they're off to their next "meeting." Don't do this.  It doesn't engender trust, pisses people off and takes you farther away from your goal. And? When you encounter a professional dark alley like needing a job or new clients--people are much less likely to help you.

So you want to build a strong community?


Take time to understand how the "system" works


complete the cycle of giving and receiving.


P.S. Don't worry. You didn't miss 393 other tips on building community. Since Letterman has already perfected the Top 10 list I thought I'd be just myself and create something different. a community building tip for another day.


Does the Negative Really Work Better?

I woke the other morning to battle lines being erected on Twitter. It was this infographic that caused it all. In a nutshell--it's supposed to help you figure out which type of female tech influencer you are. I'm not sure if the intent was to be humorous, sarcastic, entertaining or what. Whatever the intention there were people strongly on either side of it. Some hated it while some thought it was fun and tweeted which "type" they were. As for me, I thought it was a bit reductionist, not extremely telling, fun and certainly nothing to take seriously. There are way to many other things to think and talk about. It did make me think though about attention and ways to get it. This controversial (or fun depending on your perspective) infographic made lots of waves garnering oodles of attention for the author. We all know the old adage about kids trying to get attention in any way they can be it positive--or negative. And often times negative attention gets more play according to anecdotal and research-based evidence. What do you think?

Is negative attention really better than none at all?

Have you ever been "guilty" of taking the negative approach yourself?