I’m still attempting to wade through all of my email after coming home from Macworld. It was a great experience being there, but I’m still quite happy to be home. My hotel Internet connection wasn’t the greatest, so I wasn’t able to make my daily rounds as usual. It’s nice to sit here and catch up on what everyone has been doing lately!
I’ve been a geek for much of my 35 years on this Earth. Most of my life I spent as a Windows user. Yes, I know, and I’m sorry. Don’t worry, since I’ve obviously seen the light to a better path now. It took a long time, and there were actually three key things that led me to throw myself deeper into the Apple community:
Apple switching to the Intel platform
You could say that in the past, I was a person who championed the idea of software on the Windows platform. I was a community leader of sorts, writing a lot of material primarily relating to Windows. When Vista’s Beta 2 began to ship, I met Jim Allchin in person at a Blogger’s Roundtable. He told me specifically that he wanted my honest feedback. So – I gave it to him. My post Windows Vista Feedback listed more than 100 issues that I had with Vista. Little things bothered me, such as the developers using three different fonts in the same window. I was cast out of the Windows community because they said “Who cares?!”. Well, I DID care. I DO still care. To make that long story much shorter: one of my most prized possessions is a DVD of Windows Vista Beta 2, autographed by Jim Allchin. Under his name her wrote: “I’m sorry”.
Community is Already There, Inside Everyone.
The idea of community… of belonging… is everywhere, including inside of you. You are a walking Venn diagram. Think of circles that sometimes intersect with one another. You are a part of many various communities. I live in Seattle, so I belong to that community. I’m now a Mac user, so I’m part of that community as well. There are others who both live in Seattle, and use a Mac. There may even be another layer of people who own a Tenori-On. The idea of community intersects – it flows in between us all. This idea goes with you. It may be odd to think about, since the Internet is set up in silos. You have to say you’re someone’s friend on one website, and then again on another, and yet again on another! It’s unintuitive, and very non-user-centric, this idea of community.
Community isn’t about a Company – It’s about a Culture.
Years ago, I read the Cluetrain Manifesto, and the revelation came to me. The book is based on the idea that markets are conversations. Given the news that Apple will no longer be participating in Macworld, it makes me realize more that this is about the culture, but not necessarily the company. Most of you are disappointed in the news. I am not really surprised by it. To me, this is less about the company, and more about the culture… and the people you connect with. Hopefully you’ve made good connections here. That’s my favorite part of going to events like this. If given a choice between an event like this where I know I’ll share a common bond and some hoity-toity “other” conference… I’m choosing this every time. Making those connections, and spending time with people who want to be here, instead of being told they have to be, is invaluable to me. It doesn’t matter how large a trade-show floor is. A conference is all about the value of the connections you make with people.
Community is Becoming Increasingly Distributed.
This idea of community online used to exist in silos, but those walls are starting to be broken down; the idea of being able to connect with someone on one site and know that you are going to be able to connect with them everywhere else. There are people that know me, just as there a lot of people who DON’T know me. That’s fine. The people that do know me, don’t have to know me through a certain website to connect with me. They don’t have to go to website XYZ to get to know me – I bring that community with me. So if I’m on Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, MySpace… if I know someone on one, they are as much of a friend on the others. Community no longer exists in only one place. It’s everywhere – omnipresent. You bring those relationships with you, whether you are visiting another website, or you are actually meeting people in person, in “meatspace.”
Community Requires Tools that Can’t be Built.
People ask me all the time what I use to build a community. It’s impossible to pinpoint this. A community isn’t something that you just create by installing something. It doesn’t happen that way. The best community tools are ones that cannot be built. It exists in your heart, and extends from there. From your heart, it goes to your mind, then your mouth, and potentially to your fingers (depending on how you are communicating). The idea of putting something in front of a group of people and just expecting things to happen is asinine. I’ve seen people over and over cry out “I started a forum, but no one is joining!”. Well, gee – it’s not like they started the only forum dedicated to whatever it was. What makes one stand out over another? It’s all about what is in your heart, what you take with you wherever you go – that sense of community.
This is just the beginning of what I covered in this presentation at Macworld 2009. There’s more to be discovered about community in this video, including:
Community is a Commodity, but People Aren’t.
Community Cannot be Controlled, only Guided.
Community is no Longer Defined by Physical Boundaries.
Community Grows its own Leaders.
Community is the Antithesis of Ego.
Community needs Macworld more than Apple Does.
Community is Everywhere – Including Inside of You.
This is JoshuaXP’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
We have all seen him somewhere, whether it may be on YouTube or on his website watching his live stream or remembering him from those TechTV days where he did his “Call For Help” segment. Chris Pirillo has brought something to everyone in the technology world that has been fun and insightful as well as knowledgeable and helpful. Not to mention he brought us his life to us and has been doing so since last year with his wife Ponzi, his two cute dogs Wicket and Pixie and all the bloopers that may have happened along the way.
Over the past year, Chris has done many achievements to make sure his community thrives and to see that his community is always active with new blogs and new faces. Some of the achievements that Chris has done for the community are listed as follows:
1. The Chris Pirillo Website:
This where it all started, and where everyone came to see his blogs about new technologies ranging from reviews to new products to buying them and letting us know about the coupons he shares with us, so that we geeks can save a little money on the side, which is never a bad thing at all. This is also where we find his discount coupons for certain products that he likes. In all, his website is great service for all tech people and helps the community become active on tech news.
2. The Live Stream:
If you didn’t see Chris Pirillo on his website, then I am pretty sure you have seen his live stream, since this is how he has attracted so many viewers and so many people to his community. It’s no mistake that his stream is very random but clean and you may never what he will do next on it, especially when he starts his recordings for YouTube. Also the chat room on the bottom also enhances the feel for the stream and since the stream runs 24/7, the chat room is always running with people chatting. Let me also include that Chris does a webcam giveaway every Friday night to a lucky person in the chat room that follows the requirements for it, which makes more people come to see his stream and be a part of his community as well.
3. The #Chris chat room:
Who can forget those comments during the videos that either made us laugh or made us more knowledgeable about the topic Chris was covering during his videos. Nothing beats giving feedback to him after he finishes recording his video. This room is always filled with people typically talking tech and has many people asking questions which are usually are answered with patients since there are over 250 people in the room chatting away. It’s best to behave here since you are watched al the time by the helpful ops in the room, and when they see someone who is respectful and not a rule breaker, they will be voiced. Voiced users will be granted the ability to chat during video recordings, which is great and awesome privilege.
4. Chris’s videos recording for YouTube:
What’s better than a review or top five lists on video? Well, recording it live on stream with a chat room of course. Not only has he been recording videos for YouTube for a year now but he has over 1800 videos that are tech based that help other people figure out there troubles with there computers or helpful tips on how to do something on there comp that will save them a considerable amount of time. Most people send him emails on suggestions on what he should so a video about, but most of the time he does it on something of his choice. The links are provided if it’s a website review or there will be a link to a product if it happens to be that. In all Chris videos are very informative and usually funny and entertaining as well.
5. The Geeks Community Website:
The latest achievement that Chris has done for the Chris Pirillo community is a website that has over 10,000 members now and is still continuing to grow because this website has many features that today’s social websites have. This site lets customize almost anything you want from putting pictures up to uploading your favorite personal song to it. In my opinion this web page is much better than those other places like Myspace and Facebook, but that’s just my opinion. The forums here are always being made and people are always leaving comments on there forums for feedback. The great thing here about Geeks website is that you can create a special group where you can invite new friends to it and post videos and or topics relating to your new groups interests. Everything you could want in a website is here and this has captured many geeks from around the world to it and has made people join the Geeks website.
As you can see, Chris Pirillo has done something that many people haven’t done yet and he will continue to produce new material to his community everyday and will stream his life for as long as he can. It is now that the whole world knows who Chris Pirillo is and people are starting to take notice of him. Maybe someday Chris will earn an award for his achievements in the past year because I really think he deserves it considering how much time he has committed to his work. As for now we will continue to see Chris do what he does best and that is providing his community with new and interesting technology to people who will use it and that will tech others around them in there own communities at home.
In December, I’ll be traveling to New Orleans to speak at a conference about the future of Community. Then, in January, I’ll be heading back to San Francisco to lead the same discussion with a different set of people. I’m often invited to present my ideas and perspectives on the matter, and am usually more than willing to oblige organizations in their request – sometimes, I even speak remotely (via live Web camera, natch).
I happened to record two of my streamed sessions from Podcamp this month – although, I wish someone would have captured my impromptu ‘social tools for change’ micro-seminar (if only in audio). So many great conversations!
Since I don’t use presentation software, and I don’t have a set agenda for how any particular talk is going to go, both of the following videos cover the same territory in different ways. If you only have time to watch one, I think I did much better on the first day. The audience’s questions were just as good on the second day, however. The recording quality is sub-par due to bandwidth caps and other limitations – but at least the message should get through loud and clear.
I don’t have a transcription available, but I hope you’ll be able to follow along well enough. Each one of these videos are a little over an hour long, so go grab a snack, a notepad, and take ’em full screen (one at a time, of course):
Halloween is tomorrow, and I know many of you are gearing up for it. People all over both Lockergnome and Geeks have been talking non-stop lately about all the things that are involved with this very fun (and for some of you… sacred) day.
After only a few days, we have well over 2,000 members on the new Geeks community site! We’re growing like crazy, and many excellent groups and discussions are popping up. There are, of course, the occasional group that we need to delete, or even duplicates to get rid of. What constitutes a good group, anyway? How can you successfully lead your own community group?
Search for a group keyword before you start your own. Otherwise, you’re splitting the community instead of uniting it. If you’ve already started a group, this is very counter-productive.
Create a group if you believe a group is worth creating. Otherwise, you’re wasting space and time with the effort (and wonder why nobody wants to join or participate).
Fill that group with useful content. Dedicate time out of your day to post news links, start discussions, embed videos, audio, widgets, and photos related to the group’s shared interest.
Turn on the RSS Reader Include an RSS feed to automatically populate the Group with relevant content. If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, you’re not a geek.
Use a Web site relevant to the Group. Don’t use your personal website, just to try and drive traffic to yourself. Only use your own site if it’s full of content that is regularly update, all of which is directly related to your group.
Spamming the link to it is a bad idea. Let it grow organically. Find friends outside the Geeks network to join, and you’re likely to see membership flourish. Think about all the other communities and groups on the Web that you’re involved in – tell them about it there. This is your chance to lead a Group related to your passion – that’s what makes you a geek!
Please add me as an Admin for your group. Right now, the system won’t do it automatically. This way, I can make adjustments without having to ask you first. It’s a current shortcoming to the platform we’re using for Geeks today.
My suggestion is to turn off the ability for members to send messages to the entire group. Spamming is going to dissuade people from coming back, not encourage them.
If you’re an administrator for a group, use spell check and your shift key when appropriate. Nothing turns me off more than poor grammar, usage, punctuation, etc. I will not join a group that’s lead by someone who does not have command of his or her native language.
Keep it civil, especially as a Group administrator. It’s your responsibility to maintain balance and decorum. If you can’t handle this responsibility, DON’T CREATE A GROUP.
If your Group does not have any new content within a day of inception, it’s getting deleted – no questions asked. If your Group does not sustain at least a few new pieces of content every week, it’s on probation. It is YOUR responsibility as Group owner / administrator to keep it going – not necessarily the members of that Group. They joined because they’re interested, but you have to step up to the plate and serve them as much as you expect them to serve the group.
Geeks is shaping up to be an amazing community, full of some awesome people. If you’re already a member, have fun! If you’re not… what the heck are you waiting for? You’re missing out!
You’re part of an online community, uploading photos and videos, and just sharing your life in general with other Geeks like you… right? More importantly, you’re a part of my brand-new Geeks website? Geeks is made for you, and will grow because of you. If you’re a Geek of ANY kind, this is where you belong. It doesn’t matter if you are a computer Geek, or a movie Geek, or even a chocolate Geek. What matters is that you are passionate about something. That is what makes you a Geek.
Geeks is an ad-hoc community. You can create a profile, join or create groups for like-minded individuals, upload pictures and videos, and even blog a bit. There are forum threads, about anything you can think of to write about, or answer. If you go to someone’s profile page, you’ll notice they have a different theme than you do. You can choose your style, and colors for everything from text to links. Heck, add your own RSS feeds to your profile, too!
The only “rule” really is to be yourself, and be a good person. Be honest, and have fun. What else would you expect from a Geek site? You have the power to start and manage discussions. You have the chance to become more known around the Web, and even to get to know others. You might be surprised how many new friends you’ll make in a very short time.
If you’re a Geek, or even if you’re not sure, why not stop by and check us out? Signup is free, and participation is whatever level you are comfortable with. We may even bring to light some of the more interesting threads and things that you share in our nightly newsletter. We even plan to feature someone as the “member of the day”!
Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:
Jaap Stronks from The Netherlands has quite an interesting mashup, but one with a purpose: Twitter and live video!
Just wanted to share that I’ve been experimenting with live webvideo myself; I was particularly interested in integrating relevant Twitter messages realtime in a live video, something you may be interested in. At the Next Web Conference in Amsterdam, I produced an interview with Robert Scoble, which I broadcasted in Ustream with added backchannel tweets as a video overlay. If you’re interested in the result, you can watch it here (I simultaneously recorded it with Quicktime), although the web page is in Dutch, the video is of course English:
If you’re interested in the method I used: I use Adium with the Twitter IM function (with a separate account with no friends, only tracking a certain hash code) and a message layout with big white letters and a black screen, plus Camtwist with a desktop video source (custom area) with a chroma key on black, so that only the letters remain visible. I should add a black semi-opaque rectangle to make the letters more easily readible, that’s for next time.
This was just a first video after a couple of tests, I’m thinking of producing a regular live show, perhaps interviewing people using video conference calling services. I just wanted to share this with you because I thought you might find it interesting. I’m now going to dive into your blog and see what things and ideas you’ve come up with.
I keep telling everybody that the WHOLE point of doing LIVE video is that you can interact with your audience – and vice versa.