My community story begins in 1994 when I joined an international B2B exhibition organiser and publisher. By around 1996 I was working with the CEO as a "project assistant" and playing with this new "world wide web" thing that could only be accessed (after work hours) on his exclusive 14.4bps modem on his desk.
The idea was to start to figure how to move the concept of industry-specific exhibitions and publications (read 'marketplaces') onto the Web. I worked on projects in this area from 1996 to 2003. I then left that world to learn about wine.
Then over time I merged the two by launching an international conference for fellow wine bloggers and building a community around that. We ran our company for 9 years with a 'roving' exhibition variously in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Switzerland and Bulgaria with a few thousand community members overall, and conferences attracting 350 or so participants. But after that many years we'd reached the end of that road and I needed a new challenge.
I'm now working on a project to build an online community space for a wine retailer in the UK, and the opportunity is fairly unique so looking forward to it immensely but also struggling to find completely relevant materials, hence the research that brought me to CMX and to FeverBee.
I'm hoping to pick up pointers, contacts and willing samplers along the way