This is an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while. I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to be doing more with this blog: posting more often, creating series of posts, improving my writing skills, increasing my readership, etc.
Obviously, the easiest of these for me to affect is the “posting more often”. I’m often well-intentioned about this, but between work, family, and other obligations, writing for my own blog often takes a back seat.
One of the tools I’ve used in the past to help myself get things done is making commitments. Sometimes the mere act of sharing the commitment with others can provide that extra motivational boost that has me actually do the thing I’ve committed to. (It feels like simply making a commitment to myself ought to work in a similar fashion, but in my experience, simply telling others about the commitment is a huge motivator to follow through.)
It occurred to me that other people might find the same thing helpful. That was when I had the thought that it would be nice if there was a bloggers’ support group of some kind, an online community where like-minded folks could support each other to reach our goals.
Earlier this week, I tossed the idea out on Twitter. I’d only intended it as an off-handed remark — more of a “just sharing my thoughts” tweet than an “I have a plan” tweet.
The magic of our online community is that sometimes collaboration happens in an unplanned fashion. Someone expresses an idea, someone else adds on to it, a third person tweaks it a little, and then a fourth person points out how the idea could be applied even more effectively in a completely different context…
Within 20 minutes of my tweet, 4 or 5 people had tweeted something like “sign me up!” and we had an ongoing discussion going about the kinds of discussions that might happen in this hypothetical online community.
Half an hour after that, I’d created an online Google+ community called “Tech Bloggers’ Support Group” and sent out a few invitations to join it. By the next day, it was clear that the idea had passed the alpha test.
Time for the Beta Test
It’s time to take the next step with this. The community currently has five members. I’d like to expand it slowly to make sure the idea is still sound and work out any bugs or anything missing it the organizational structure (by which I mostly mean the categories defined for different types of discussions).
My immediate goal is to add another five or ten people to the community, let things go a couple weeks, get feedback, use it to improve things, then open things up to a wider audience.
So, if you also have any goals similar to the ones I outlined in this post’s opening, think that the type of online community I’ve described might help, and have an interest in giving it a try, speak up. Let me know you’re interested — either by adding a comment below, or reaching out to me in email or on Twitter — and let’s see about getting you involved in our Beta Test phase.