For awhile now I’ve worked with and “mentored” various students doing their thesis and doctoral work and I’ve meet some of these students in the past but none quite like what took place at the SAP TechEd Vienna event. This was the first time I had meet a student that I had spent time over the past years working with at one of our own events.
It was kind of nerve racking as this particular student is doing a critical study of external facing communities and we are one of those “targets” so for a whole week I felt as though I was put on the spot to make sure what we “say” is what we are really doing and that we can stand up to the scrutiny of an academic doing their doctoral work.
OK, I was not so much worried that we were not living up to what we are telling the world it was more that they would discover some flaw, hole or otherwise negative aspect I myself missed and was not prepared to discuss or even defend – silly of course since no one can be prepared to be the ultimate defender of their community one has to sit back and have faith in what you have helped build and that it is strong.
So during the week, I got to know Georgia Demetriou better and we spoke in great detail about community, human interaction, social interaction I also introduced her to several community members of the SAP communities as well as many of the blogger present and we asked her to share her thoughts with during a live broadcasted interview.
View the interview here.
What I found surprised many people was during our conversations and the interview we discussed other communities and who she should talk to as well. Personally I felt folks like Jake and Justin with Oralce would be perfect people for her to talk to as well as Lauren with Microsoft in addition to those two of course would be other strong external facing communities like Intel, AMD, IBM, etc. I mean there are not many of us in this enterprise level world with external facing communities so I’ve also considered it to be prudent to know the other folks one might or could classify as my counterparts and that we should attempt to keep some open lines of communications.
On many levels there are certain best practices that do not necessarily relate to our companies but to us an individuals in roles that are still relatively new to the world (e.g. Community Evangelists) and therefore I was more than happy to provide those names and emails that I had readily available.
So personally and professionally I want to wish Georgia all the best with her work and I’m very eager on both levels to read her findings when she is done!!