The Community is YOU, Not Any Organization

Professional Development
As I type this, we're leaving behind spring, and all the amazing events that take place then, and entering the quiet time of summer. After that, we'll go into the fall and hundreds of community events (feels like hundreds) will kick off again. Before all that, I wanted to share what I think is an important message: The community is you. Let's talk about it. What Really Defines Community First up, community is not an organization. Sure, organizations can and do support and define communities, but they themselves are not the community. The community is, at the core, down to the people that make it up. The social norms we build around our communication with one another, interests, methods, values, these are what define a community. And yes, a good…
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Six Months!

Professional Development
Oh good gosh. Six months without a single blog post. Most important information: I'm not dead. Apologies. The issue is pretty simple. I'm getting old. Ha! Seriously though, I am suffering a bit from a lack of energy to do ALL the things and still maintain this blog. However, to hell with that. Time for a refresh. Watch this space. I'm going to be cleaning it up. Changing a few things. Also, getting back to posting. I don't think as many of the posts will be technical though. I'm going to start posting some leadership ideas and suggestions. I've been involved in community for a long time, and I want to see it keep going. I have received so much from the communities I'm involved with, I want to give…
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PGSQL PHRIDAY #3: What is the PostgreSQL Community To You?

PostgreSQL
Very excited to take part in my third #PGSQLPhriday blogging event, even more so because it's a topic that's quite near and dear to my heart, community. To say that I'm new to the PostgreSQL community isn't simply an understatement. Other than some online stuff, I haven't been anywhere near the PostgreSQL community. That's not for a lack of trying (multiple sessions submitted to multiple events), but so far, still just doing the online thing. So, I don't know that I'm fully qualified to discuss what, specifically, the PostgreSQL community means to me. Instead, let's talk about why you want a vibrant and strong community. I'm going to start with my qualifications to discuss community (not that anyone, anywhere, needs qualifications to take part in community, man, I dislike gatekeeping).…
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Where Do We Go To Share?

Misc
No one reads blogs any more. Twitter is dying. Facebook is broken. LinkedIn? Please. G+. Is that even on any more? Where do we go to share? I'm seeing it here on this blog. Traffic is down. Not just day-to-day traffic, but the search hits. That could just be that I'm producing crap content or stuff that no one is interested in. However, Twitter isn't growing like it once was and there are many reports that it's shrinking. Facebook is running into problems. So... Where the heck are people going? How do we continue to share without a relatively common communication tool? I know there's some push for Yammer. However, lots of people hate it. Slack and slack channels get a little traction, but to a degree this is just another type of…
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Promote Community

PASS, Professional Development
When I present at any given event, I generally assume that the people attending have heard of the event that I'm at. For example, I don't need to ask people at SQL in the City, "Who here has heard of Redgate Software?" Same thing goes for a SQL Saturday event "Did anyone here know that there's a local, free, event being held that provides free training and networking in your area?" seems like a waste of time while at the event. However, what about the rest of the community? If you're working on your presentation skills, I'd like you to add one more bit of work to everything else you're doing (yes, yes, you're welcome). I'd like you to get in the habit of taking 3-5 minutes prior to the…
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Communication and the Board: #PASSVotes

PASS
The whole idea behind PASS is to build a community of people who can assist each other in their daily work lives. PASS succeeds at that wonderfully. Further, PASS, the organization, tries extremely hard to let you know what it's doing and how it's doing things. You can read the PASS Blog to get all sorts of good information. One of my recent favorites was this great summary of how the Summit speaker selection process was run. I think it's a positive thing that the organization is so open. I intend to take it one more step. If I get elected (huge "if"), I'm going to make a point of blogging about, well, the stuff I end up doing. No, I'm not going to be the official mouth-piece for the organization,…
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Getting the Word Out

Professional Development
A discussion that I've frequently had with organizers of SQL Saturday events, our own people here at Red Gate, authors, MVPs, pretty much anyone interested enough to listen for a few minutes, is summed up by "How do we get the word out about the opportunities that the SQL Server community offers?" The question always comes down to, how do we reach people? We tweet. There's a Facebook page. Discussions are hosted on LinkedIn. Emails are sent out to various distribution lists. Advertising is done on SQL Server Central (with over one million registrants, what else do you have to do?). And yet, at events, I'll ask, who has heard of PASS and will only get a 50% positive response. Heck, I'll never forget that at the Charlotte SQL in…
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Google + Hangouts

Professional Development
I just finished hosting my third hangout on Google Plus. I’ve also attended one hosted by Andy Leonard (blog|twitter) and one hosted by Tom LaRock (blog|twitter). I am blown away by how useful these things are. I’m actually struggling to try to put it into words. This may be something of a ramble. Jorge Segarra (blog|twitter) brought it up during the conversation this morning, you can’t know everything. You can’t. So what do you do when you’re hitting an issue that you can’t solve because you just don’t have the knowledge? Well, you contact someone who does have that knowledge. You work your contacts and your network and track down the information, because someone you know either knows that bit of information or they know someone else who does. That’s…
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The SQL Server Community

PASS
I attended, and spoke at, the inaugural meeting of the Seacoast SQL Server User's group last night. There were about 60 people in attendance. An excellent turn-out and congratulations go out to Mike Walsh (blog | twitter) and the other organizers. I was curious about something after watching Mike present the PASS monthly slide-deck. He asked how many people were PASS members. Approximately a third of the audience raised their hands. When it was my turn to speak, I asked how many people had heard of Buck Woody (blog | twitter). I was honestly shocked when only about 6 people raised their hands. Then I asked how many had heard of Paul Randal (blog | twitter). This time I had about 9-12 people. Finally, I asked about Brent Ozar (blog…
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Community

Misc, PASS
I'm always impressed and amazed with what happens in the SQL Server community. If you need help, there almost always seems to be a willing and able hand that reaches down to pull you up. It happens again and again, all around. I take part in SQL Server Central, one of the best, and biggest, communities out there for SQL Server. The people that pitch in every day are some of the nicest you're ever going to meet, but they're also extremely well informed. I regularly benefit from people swinging by this blog to offer suggestions or solutions or improvements to my ramblings. I've been making friends and developing contacts at the PASS Summit for the last four years and at my local user's group for the last two.  I've also been…
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