When I think of value in Tech 4 good communities or any other community / network, the core value I rest my mind on is: every interaction is a gift. This means every map edit on OpenStreetMap, every commit on github repo, every edit to translation set, every event organized/attended and every voice on a community hangout or mailing list. As community and programme managers, we aim to help people get involved. This is a one by one – very personal connection. This is especially true for those of in the Digital Humanitarian Network (umbrella of communities) or Crisismappers Network and more. These communities exist by the hub and spoke model. Each of us believes (to some degree) that we are incrementally changing the pace of humanitarian aid by connecting and sharing.
A few years ago (way before I changed up my career and volunteer paths to Tech 4 Good), I became an avid reader of Chris Brogan and his frequent co-writer, Julien Smith. At first it was to learn better marketing skills for my tech job at Tucows Inc., but soon I realized that I had virtually met people who understood the qualities and growth paths of people like us. Trust Agents really highlighted this for me.
Anyone who has ever gotten a “here’s a link I thought you might like” or “I’d Like to introduce you to x” email from me knows that I live by Chris’s network simple formula:
Be helpful + meet helpful people + connect really helpful people = potential for future amazingness.
Chris has a weekly newsletter (selly sell: subscribe for it). It is my Sunday cup of coffee to really consider our craft. This week his post really resonated with me. With his permission, I am quoting the simple formula and some key guidelines. Happy building.
BUILD A HELPFUL NETWORK
1.) Be open to connecting with anyone. You never know.
2.) When introducing others, ask first privately if you can make the introduction (lots of times, people introduce me to others that I can’t much help, for instance).
3.) Upon meeting someone new, think of ways you can help them. I promise this is MUCH more useful than thinking of ways they can help you.
4.) Set calendar reminders or ANY other method to keep in touch with people on a semi regular basis. Cold networks don’t help.
5.) Connect great people in your network together. It’s always greater than the sum of the separate parts.
(Photo taken in Venice, Italy by moi)
Thanks for Sharing, Chris.