Building your Tribe and Leading a Community

Yes I’m still all about Seth’s new book Tribes and leading communities. If you want to know what skill is going to be needed in the future. It is going to be someone who understands and has the skill to create and lead a community of people. Someone who can organize and help the community lead themselves. When I approached Wetpaint last January I had to sell them on the idea of what they needed was a leader for their educational community. Someone who understood the needs of educators. Someone who spoke their language, understood their concerns, and who could help them figure out what you do with a wiki once you actually sign up for it. That person of course was me. 🙂 ….or so I hoped it was. Wetpaint took a risk on me and the idea that by creating a community around their product, they were in fact creating a user base for their product. It’s not a new approach. Why does Google give away Google Apps to education, or Microsoft give away $3 copies of Windows XP in China. It’s about growing a user base around your product. Because some day those kids are going to be out of school and what they will know and turn to (you hope) is your product. I approached Wetpaint because I believe they had the best product on the market, and although late to the free wiki for education space they had a product that once used would sell itself. Add to that a community of educational users for support and you have the makings of a great community and web service for educators. In the seven months (5 officially) that I have been working with Wetpaint the communities numbers at the Wikis in Education site have gone from around 200 to 1200+. I wish I could say it was all my doing, but again I believe the service sells itself and with more educators getting on board we would naturally see this increase. What I do think is different those is the supportive community that has formed at the Wikis in Education site. The Discussion Forums have started to fill up not only with questions but also answers from other wiki users. The community is starting to breath on it’s own. I’m there to support, answer questions, talk strategies, and once a month give a tip and...

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Leading a Tribe

I’ve read a lot of books in the past three years…..ok….for me personally it’s been a lot of reading. This one I didn’t actually read. I listened to it ($5.59 via iTunes). But being an auditory learner….that’s better than reading anyway. This one though, this book, hit me a little deeper than others. It might be where I’m at right now in my life. It might be that I’m trying to find my niche in this new world that I myself do not fully understand. Trying to be a new worker in an old company isn’t easy. But it can be and is on many levels very rewarding. I’ve been a reader of Seth’s for over a year now. He’s in my must read category and what he can say in three paragraphs, the deepness and directness of his words, are something of an art. The book gets right to the point. That what leadership is about is leading a tribe. Create a tribe passionate followers and lead it. Do I have a Tribe? Could I create a Tribe? Those are the questions I keep asking myself. Then there is the question where are we going? Gapingvoid puts it best. Leadership does not exist in a vacuum, you need somewhere to actually lead your tribe to. Right now I have no idea. I’m just an educator. Do I have a purpose? Do I have a vision? One thing that Seth points out is to write your manifesto. Put it out there and then build a tribe around it. I’ve been thinking about what it is I actually stand for. What is it that I truly believe? There are tribes on many levels, and having the ability to organize the tribe around a purpose or vision is what leadership truly is. Create a Tribe at your school: Can you create a Tribe at your school? Every school has it’s obstacles. It’s easy for us to talk about not having administrative support, not having access to this web site or the blocking of that one. Complaining is easy, creating a Tribe and making change happen is work. Where to start the Tribe: Find those teachers, those colleges that are your early adopters. Find those teachers that you already are supporting and create a tribe with them. For me, I’ve started an e-mail group at school. A group of the teachers who...

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