This article is part of our Community Manager Advancement Day series on resilience.
Community Manager Advancement Day is right around the corner. This year, as we celebrate the extraordinary achievements and growth of the community industry, we’re focusing on one characteristic of community managers in particular: Resilience.
Community managers are driven by connecting people, building bridges and bringing groups together. As 2020 brought lockdowns and social distancing around the world, community professionals demonstrated extraordinary resilience in finding new ways to bring people together. Many had to support their communities while also dealing with upheaval in their personal life, their company, or the lives of their community members.
We asked members of the CMX community to share their stories of resilience from the past year, and we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites below.
By Ashley Dodge, Director, Community
Resilience is defined as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. And when I think of the Copado Community, “resilience” is one of the first words that comes to mind.
In 2019, Copado set out on the mission of educating, empowering, connecting, and certifying Salesforce professionals with DevOps knowledge. By the beginning of 2020, the Copado Community had grown to over 6,000 members with Copado primarily educating members through in-person training events. Flash forward to the spring of 2020, and these tried-and-true training events came to a grinding halt.
Our Copado community was quite literally limited to our digital community. But as our customers enabled remote work and sped up IT roadmaps, they needed DevOps training more than ever. Our team of passionate educators and evangelists took to the Copado Community to make it happen.
Over the next 9 months, the Copado Community grew 416%, reaching more than 31,000 members. To date, Copado Community members have completed 60,000 modules and 8,000 members became Copado certified professionals. Copado Community members forged new careers, helped their businesses enable dispersed workforces, and lifted each other up in forum threads. 2020 was a make or break year for many organizations. For Copado, 2020 was the year that made our community resilient.
By Rashmi Nagendran, Senior Associate, Community Management
Managing communities during a pandemic is no easy task. Despite the world resorting to virtual means of connecting and engaging, there were moments of fatigue and burnout that I felt because of the numerous uncertainties around us and also trying the best to keep things going smoothly. It was and is still a difficult time to adapt to, and these aren’t times we’re prepared for.
There were a couple of months during this pandemic when I took things slow for myself and the community. I did not want to overload myself and feel exhausted, but rather I took out the time to get rest and also be a part of communities from whom I can learn from. This helped me to get back on my feet and take steps to grow and engage my community. I realized my mental health was equally important and prioritized that in order to function better for my own self, for my community and everything else! The best part was, the community also understood and stood by!
Program Manager (Anonymous)
In 2020 we doubled the size of our user groups program. By pivoting away from in-person meetups, we supplemented our geo-based groups with the launch of a new line of decentralized, topic-based groups.
We then shifted our groups’ leadership model and began recruiting partners and customers to play a larger role in running those groups. We reorganized non-user groups throughout the community under a new banner, so we could equip and serve all groups equally, creating a strong and interconnected ecosystem.
Leveraging tools like Bevy, we hosted more community events in 2020 than ever before, offering new event types like workshops, trainings, and virtual conferences. Finally, we dug into the data at the end of the year and revamped our metrics so we could tangibly measure the genuine value that these experiences bring to our customers. The results were incredible, and now in 2021 we get to tell this story to the rest of the organization, even as we innovate further to create even more value for our community and its group members.
By Tirza Austin, Online Community Manager
COVID-19 cancelled every in-person event. We needed a way to build engagement and support members, fast.
Our new motto? “Be fast. Be first.”
After re-evaluating our digital offering, we created tailored, personalized content focusing on relevancy, authenticity, and member feedback. We quickly launched new programming, from AMA-style career workshops to virtual roundtables on COVID-19, and a COVID-19 Resource page engaging more people than ever before.
We did all this with the technology we already had. It was easy to quickly pivot to digital first, running event registrations, automated email campaigns, and gathering feedback through our online community. Plus, we didn’t let fear of not doing things right get in the way of moving quickly to support members. We cared more about relevancy, and people care more about authenticity.
By Jen Wike Huger, Community Manager
Our team supports and nurtures a group of writers called The Correspondents who write 10 articles in 12 months. The benefit list for them is long, but the truth is they benefit our readers more than we can fully say thank you for. They do it because they’re passionate about sharing solutions, tutorials, ideas, and their experiences in tech. They believe that sharing in and of itself is highly valuable. And, it is.
This year our Correspondents have come together in a variety of ways to support each other and create content to support people all over the globe looking for answers to questions regarding Linux, open source, DevOps, sysadmin, and many other related topics. They’ve showed up in weekly meetings and on Discourse, when I was prepared to see no one because of “Zoom fatigue” and general real-life stress due to a global pandemic. They’ve congratulated each other on successes to a degree that has uplifted spirits and breathed new life into this community. I’ve been blessed to return from maternity leave this year to a group of people ready to pitch in, help out, and really connect with each other towards a common goal. It represents what sharing and caring is really all about.
Community Manager (Anonymous)
2020 was a year that shook everyone to their core, even if it was a year that was filled with more positivity than doubt. My community team not only had to deal with our own personal changes and times of struggle, but also an increased workload due to the nature of the community we supported having more time at home to work.
This transition into a remote work environment meant creating new boundaries for work/life balance while still coming to the new (at-home) office with energy supporting our engaged and thirsty community. A global pandemic did not tear us down but challenged us in ways that gave our team and community strength. We now move forward with the following mantra: embrace impermanence, prepare for change, and fill your life with positivity.