What's your origin story?


(Nick Emmett) #1

@Todd_Nilson’s post about gaming got me thinking about everyone’s backgrounds here. How did you get in to Community Management, or whatever it is we call what we do these days!

For me, I spent many years in L&D at one of the UK’s largest insurers where eventually I began working alongside one of our resident trailblazer @Mike_Collins. Mike was working hard at getting people to think about collaboration on a fairly basic SharePoint site and eventually a Ning community and I was hooked. Eventually I took over the reins from Mike as he left to go and blaze his trail somewhere much more accommodating, and got involved in our internal project to build an internal community on Yammer. We got this underway and began engaging people across the group (starting small with a view to growing as we went along) I eventually fell victim (or not) of the axe of redundancy, which led me to where I am now, officially starting in our customer learning team but being tenacious enough to get myself as a key voice and protagonist in the project to launch a customer community, eventually leading to me landing the role of Community Manager (although it sits alongside my other role as a Customer Success Manager too, where I worked alongside new member here @Chris_Detzel. And here I am, always learning, always looking for ways to improve. The journey continues.

What’s your origin story?


(Steve Bridger) #2

Ah yes, I’ve met @Mike_Collins a few times at CIPD events. Top bloke.


(Gear Buzz) #3

As an audio engineer and music producer, digital recording was overtaking traditional analog tape recording. I found a few newsgroups online discussing pro audio and enjoyed sharing freelancer war stories while picking up tips on all the future tech. I became a volunteer moderator at a pro audio forum and really built up my sub forum’s popularity, then that forum started to charge everyone $25 a year for access. That instantly killed the forum’s traffic and with it, my hobby. Someone pointed out that a forum software licence costs as little as $100. So in 2002 I paid a friend to set one up. I recruited good natured people into audio gear as volunteer moderators, and gave a big shout in all the audio places on the web that it was the place to be. After 2 years I started selling advertising to pro audio gear manufacturers and after 4 years quit audio engineering and music production to run it full time.


(Sarah Hawk) #4

My story is convoluted.

While studying architecture I took a part time admin job at Xerox so that I could use their reprographic gear for my projects. The building industry was in a slump and Xerox had an opening for an app developer. I ended up teaching myself to code and spent the next 15 years writing software for them.

During that period of self-education, I relied heavily on the SitePoint forums. I became entrenched in that community and moved up the ranks of volunteer staff from mentor to moderator to admin.

When I left work to have kids, SitePoint offered me a part time, remote CM role. When the kids started kindergarten I took on other freelance enterprise CM roles and I did that until Rich found me.


(Chris Detzel) #5

Thanks @Nick_Emmett for calling me out! :wink: My story…hmm… well I worked for Forrester Research for several years and I manged a very small community - 300 people, but had very intimate relationships with them. After Forrester Research I worked for FinancialForce.com and my title was Community Customer Success Manager. @Nick_Emmett is the Community Manager. I was more of a Customer Success Community Manager, meaning I did more Account Management other than Community Stuff. Then my current company sought me out a couple of months ago as they needed a Global Community Manager. I hope that helps!