To follow up my recent post, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention the potential benefits of doing community work. There are plenty of opportunities to benefit from being involved, contributing content, running events, etc.
Also, some folks might be motivated by these potential benefits beyond the benefits to the community. Some folks might get involved primarily for these benefits and there’s nothing wrong with that IMO. You can discuss intentions and judgements amongst yourselves. 🙂
To set or reset expectations, these are potential benefits. Nothing is guaranteed.
You’re almost certain to learn something.
Writing blog posts or preparing presentations/sessions (at least for me) requires digging fairly deeply into topics. It almost always leads to new topics, related topics, dependencies, and more. Some of them I’m able to dig into right away. Others I may need to chalk up to raising awareness of something that I’ll likely dig into later. Either way, I’ve skilled up. Sometimes I’ve skilled up a LOT. This is honestly one of my biggest drivers…
I find the skills topic interesting. I find that the more I learn, the more I want to learn. The more I want to try, the more I want to tell other folks what I’ve found. Topics might include the how-to steps, or how something impacts business needs, or so many other variations. On and on… Imagine what impact sharing that knowledge could have on your team, in your org, or in a wider community.
Connect skills with examples, share them in the context of your org or across verticals… Talk to me after class on this one. 🙂
Your brand may grow.
In today’s world of social media measurements any content you create is going to add to your footprint. If and when folks find your content, like it, comment on it, share it, etc. it’s raising your personal brand. It’s building a track record of your accomplishments, your knowledge, your skills, your experience, and more.
Similar things apply to businesses and organizations. Many will build community channels for just this purpose – building brand, marketing, etc. Again, not a bad thing.
These tend to be positive things for you as an individual and for organizations you may work for or represent.
Which leads to the next thing…
You may get recognized or awarded for your contributions.
Again, nothing is guaranteed. But you can’t win if you don’t participate. Each community has its own way of recognizing folks.
Badges seem to be all the rage again. If you’re participating in the right forums, sites, etc. you may be recognized in that way.
I’ve been lucky enough to be awarded as a Microsoft MVP (15 years this year!), which brings with it its own benefits. I don’t know who originally nominated me, but I am extremely thankful as it’s given me ways to contribute even more.
You might get new opportunities.
That might mean a new role, a new badge, recognition, or even new job opportunities. After all, you’re building your skills – both technical and social/soft skills and they’re all useful. Sharing is, by default, a social thing. It might get you recognized within your organization as an SME (subject matter expert) or “champion” – someone who has knowledge and experience in a particular area that can build community and mentor others.
Sharing knowledge in various communities more widely than you’ve done before tends to bring attention in the way of job opportunities as well. If you’re a consultant, it might drive some new business. If others need your skills it might lead to new job opportunities. There are a lot of options out there when folks know what skills (both SME topics and soft skills like speaking, writing, teaching, and more…) and experience you bring to the table.
Oh yea. There are also stickers. 😛