In our dream world, every community professional would be a grand master of social sciences, technology, and data.
In this dream world, community work wouldn't be performed by newcomers who drifted into the field, it would be performed by community professionals with a fierce desire to use this deep well of knowledge to build powerful, invaluable, communities.
We would come into every staff meeting ready to outline exactly what we're going to achieve and what we need from the company to achieve it. We would be the unquestioned experts of community expertise.
We would use rigid data analysis and community development theory to design social structures that ensure a newcomer joins and participates. If they didn't, we would have an awesome arsenal of weapons to test until they committed members.
We would use conflict theory to stops petty disputes before they escalate into full-blown fights. We would know the exact words to turn a disgruntled member into a excited advocate.
We would use a library of case studies/templates/examples to design and develop our own community sites. We would know exactly how much to spend and who to trust to develop our communities. We would stop wasting so much time and money on terrible sites.
We would embed core principles of motivation to persuade members to accept the group norms, embrace the group values, and ensure other members did too. We would motivate every member to contribute every scrap of knowledge for the benefit of the group.
The past 4 years
4 years ago, we began inching closer to this dream by creating a professional-level course for frustrated community experts.
We put every drop of knowledge, experience, and expertise we have about communities into this course. In the past 4 years, we've taken 250+ terrific community professionals through an intense tunnel of knowledge and helped them develop thriving communities for the world's leading organisations.
This isn't a course to tell you communities are important or you need to be nice to members. That's far below our level. This is a course designed to make you a highly-regarded expert inside and outside of your organisation.
Our mission has been to take communities out of the dark ages; where anecdotal examples, superstition, and misplaced assertions reign supreme and into an enlightened field of proven psychology, facts, and data. We want to change this field from a soft, silly, subject into a proven, practical, and factual discipline.
On January 6th, 2015, immediately after the new year, we're relaunching our professional online community management course.