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Ray Eisenberg
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Rituals play a critical role in the major religions of the world, whether it's the Latin incantations and incense of Catholicism, the times of the day and orientation of prayer in Islam, or the dietary rituals of Judaism, they all play a key role in reinforcing who you are why you exist and why you are doing what you are doing. Similarly in community, rituals play a key role in at least two of McMillan's key aspects of commmunity spirit: membership (the feeling that members have of belonging), and a shared emotional connection (a shared faith in community members commitment... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at Voice of Community
It's paradoxical that this community starts off with "self" but they are an amazing bunch of sharers, as I found out at last night's Meetup for the San Francisco Quantified Self group held at the Autodesk Gallery. So what are self-quanitifiers? What do they quantify? What is this movement all about? (And yes, it is a movement - there is even a Quantified Self European Conference in May.) The QS movement is a collaboration of users and makers of self-tracking tools whose goal is to help people get meaning out of their personal data. At the Meetup we heard presentations... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2014 at Voice of Community
Scott - great suggestions. One thing I always try to do especially at mixers is to find a customer that's standing on their own. Being on your own in a room of 5,000 people while all around you seem to know everybody, can be a very lonely feeling. Engage and enjoy, you will have made a customer feel welcome instead of estranged.
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What do keys and back doors have to do with community? Well, I was watching Sunday Morning on CBS a few weeks ago, and there was an interview with one of my favorite actors John Goodman. He is shown eating at the Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans landmark since 1880 and one of its more famous restaurants. Long-time customers are welcomed and given extra attention as any good restaurant cultivating a loyal clientele would, but what marks this restaurant as unique is a highly unusual benefit: the restaurant’s best customers are given a key to the back door, said to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2012 at Voice of Community
Although we talk a lot about community in the aggregate and global online communities, it’s always refreshing to return to the roots of community, where it all started: the neighborhood. And this last few weeks have been great for grass roots community in my neighborhood: a multi-family garage sale; a take-back-the-night block party, Labor Day neighborhood BBQ, and help for a sick neighbor through Lotsa Helping Hands. Multi-Family Garage Sale We held the 17th annual multi-family John Street garage sale. The biggest one to date with close to 20 families and multiple adjoining streets participating, all selling junk and so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2012 at Voice of Community
Love the accordian metaphor.
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Berta - thank you. I just need to be a little more diligent in my postings although I prefer to say something that is meaningful rather than posting because it's Friday and it's time to post. Thank you again. Ray
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2012 on Maker community is real at Voice of Community
Although I have been to Maker Faire and Techshop and read and talked a lot about the democratization of fabrication, my view of the maker movement I have to admit has been tinged with a little skepticism. (What can you expect from a Brit trained from birth to question any kind of enthusiasm?) However that all changed when I was at a party last week. The party was at one of my neighbors and was to celebrate the end of their kitchen remodel – the end of cement dust, bare wall-board, appliance hookups, and the rest, and a return to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2012 at Voice of Community
Tribes are receiving plenty of praise and admiration lately and although I respect Seth Godin immensely and read his blog daily, I can’t but think that his admonitions to find, create, lead or join a tribe is misguided at best and dangerous at worst. Tribes are mean selfish inhumane social institutions. Tribes are only interested in the tribe and the survival of the tribe; the cause, if there is one, is always secondary. Tribes don’t like other tribes; they eliminate other tribes or capture and absorb other tribe members into their own tribe. Tribes have no respect for other tribes.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2012 at Voice of Community
My wise friend and brilliant futurist Wayne Hodgins once told me, “never confuse an event with community” but there I was at Autodesk University 2011 the other week, surrounded by community. Communities of mechanical engineers, automotive engineers, civil engineers: bridge builders, highway engineers, canal builders, “dirt movers”; architects – high rise and low density residential, hotel and stadium architects, institutional architects designing schools, hospitals, universities and prisons; multi-media designers, animators, games designers, and commercial renderers; mechanical engineers, automotive engineers, shipbuilders, mechanical parts, consumer goods, and parts designers. You name the design profession and there was a tribe for it. An... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2011 at Voice of Community
The first Autodesk University Brasil was held in Sao Paulo last week and was a resounding success. Over 1400 people packed the conference for a full day of presentations and training sessions and partied into the early evening unwilling to leave. Several companies, like PROGEN above, brought many of their staff to take advantage of the training and the collective wisdom of the conference. As I’ve said many times before, an event is not a community but it is a great catalyst for community and community activities: Before the event, Brasil Community members tweeted, retweeted, blogged, and posted on the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2011 at Voice of Community
I attended a joint TEDx and Bay Area Executives Meetup a while ago on how customer social networks are making an impact on innovation, and how employee networks within organizations are helping to break out of organizational silos and cross organizational boundaries. The conference was divided into two sessions with separate panels on: • Engaging innovation externally • Engaging innovation internally This is the second of two articles about innovation, community, and social networks. This post is about engaging innovation internally. The first post discusses engaging innovation internally. Susie Wee, CTO at HP, talked about the diverse vehicles for innovation... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Voice of Community
I attended a joint TEDx and Bay Area Executives Meetup a while ago on how customer social networks are making an impact on innovation, and how employee networks within organizations are helping to break out of organizational silos and cross organizational boundaries. The conference was divided into two sessions with separate panels on: • Engaging innovation externally • Engaging innovation internally This is the first of two articles about innovation, community, and social networks. This post is about engaging innovation externally. A second post discusses engaging innovation internally. David Cruickshank of SAP talked about their Labs Project which is open... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Voice of Community
There have been some interesting articles recently about the influence or lack of influence of so-called influencers. Some are claiming that it doesn’t matter who spreads the message, the well-connected or ordinary joe’s, the message will eventually reach the same number of people. I was at LINC, the Lithium users conference last month, and while Dr. Michael Wu, Principal Scientist of Analytics at Lithium, conceded that this might be true, the major factor being ignored (apart from common sense!), is the speed or velocity with which the message is spread. Using the analogy of the tortoise and the hare, although... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2011 at Voice of Community
Olivier: Hence the expression "gutted." - Ray
Could community be biologically necessary? Is community an evolutionary imperative? These questions and more I immediately thought of when I read a report of a study titled The Pain of Exclusion in the Scientific American Mind in the January/February 2011 edition. The report was summarized in Delanceyplace, a brief daily email on interesting non-fiction mainly historic and occasionally scientific topics of interest Starting with the opposite of community, exclusion, the article states that “ostracism - rejection, silence, exclusion - is one of the most powerful punishments that one person can inflict on another. Brain scans have shown that this rejection... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2011 at Voice of Community
With over 100 million people tuning in to watch the ads on Super Bowl Sunday today (hey, only a minority is there for the game), but with 600 million Facebook members and 175 million people on Twitter it’s easy to understand why Advertising Age has dubbed Super Bowl XLV the “social” bowl. Some of these eagerly-anticipated ads have already been aired, for example, the two VW ads for the Passat were aired on Facebook last week, and are available on Youtube.. It’s not hard to understand why, and it’s not just the fact of the arrival of the $3 million... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2011 at Voice of Community
Thanks for thanks! The Christmas parade really highlighted the need for the oft-maligned 90% community consumers. All the best for the New Year. -Ray
After the rigors of the Autodesk University (AU) 2010 in Las Vegas, entombed in the bowels of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, I recuperated for a week with friends in Corrales, a small town in New Mexico about 10 miles outside Albuquerque and approximately 50 miles from Sante Fe. It was a charming area made up of small holdings and farms, rural businesses such as nurseries, tree lots, horse breeding, and a few vineyards bordering the Rio Grande river. Many of the locals worked in nearby Albuquerque and in Sante Fe using the local train whose doors went ‘beep-beep’ like the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2010 at Voice of Community
Community to the right of me, community to the left of me, community as far as the eye could see. Although you should never confuse an event with community, it was hard not to equate the two after 6 days in the bowels of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas at Autodesk University (AU) 2010, the annual gathering of many of our most committed Autodesk software users. Communities of designers, architects, and engineers. Within the community of architects, communities of industrial, commercial, and residential architects. Within the community of residential architects, communities of high rise residential, single-family dwelling and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2010 at Voice of Community
The other day, I heard the expression “analog community," and for a brief second was a little mystified until I realized, of course, the counterpart of “online community” – a new phrase for the original meaning and manifestation of community – face-to-face interaction. We sometimes forget that in an ever-connected, online world, there is still space for good, old-style meetings, personal conversations, interviews, conferences, events, and all the other stuff we used to do before online community was cool. This is not to negate the reach, impact, and importance of online community, but let's not forget the importance of community... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2010 at Voice of Community
I saw the Social Network over the weekend, the story of the start of Facebook starring Jesse Eisenberg (no relation) playing Mark Zuckerberg the co-founder of Facebook, and interestingly Justin Timberlake (he was pretty good) as the founder of Napster and the force behind the move to California . It was very different to what I had expected and definitely not a feel-good bio pic. Also, if the story is to be believed, Facebook was in large part created as the adolescent retaliation of an embittered undergrad nerd rejected by Phoenix, a privileged Harvard WASP jock fraternity. It might go... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2010 at Voice of Community
There has been renewed interest in the issue of community “walled gardens” - corporate owned and managed customer community web sites. I was thinking about this issue on a recent trip to Brazil. The Autodesk Brazil Community has approximately 4,000 registered members - not too bad considering the short amount of time that it has been in existence. But then I checked on Orkut, the Google-run social networking site which is very popular in Brazil, and it has several Autodesk product-based groups including an AutoCAD group. The AutoCAD group has over 30,000 members. Similarly in CIS/Russia, the Autodesk CIS/Russia Community... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2010 at Voice of Community
You might be asking yourselves, what on earth does Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), have to do with community. What does it have to do with Autodesk user groups and user communities? And I might have had the same opinion but on a plane a few weeks ago, I was reading an article in Wired Magazine about the history of AA (The Secret of AA, Brendan I. Koerner. Wired Magazine, July 2010) which made me think again. One of the main themes of the article is that although AA and many of the 12-step programs have been very successful, nobody really knows... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2010 at Voice of Community
Last week I read that Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life, laid off 30 per cent of its staff and replaced its CEO. Now I’m not sure how many of you have an account or have even experienced Second Life but I’ve personally never been able to establish much meaningful one-on-one contact there (unless you really think being assailed by half- or fully-naked people sporting studded dog collars meaningful) let alone community. I used to hang around in the Autodesk virtual AU pavilion for many hours without as much as a teleported blip appearing in the space. Not surprisingly,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2010 at Voice of Community