Here is a record my commentary on CodeGumbo site. I put it here for reference and I look forward to your comments.
Again, I don’t speak for PASS, and I can’t. These are just my personal thoughts.
Thank you for your post. I don’t know if my efforts have been visible enough to you, but here goes:
I have held a couple of Twitter ‘surgery hours’ which have had varying degrees of success.
I have held a series of Virtual Chapter Pathways, which took place every Wednesday at 9PM (My Time, 1PM PST) in October. These were open to everyone. Brent Ozar very kindly posted it up on his blog, and it went up on the PASS websites, and PASS sent out emails to the CLs and VCLs to let them know about the sessions. Andy Warren also very kindly posted it on his PASSWATCH site. I don’t think that I missed out any route of communication but please let me know any other possibilities for getting the word out. I do my best, but I am not ‘down with the kids’ and I am well aware that there will be social media / sites where I haven’t thought about looking.
That took out my every Wednesday evening for a whole month, but I thought it was worth the effort to try and make myself available to people.
During the VC ‘open mike’ pathways, the highest attendance was only 16 people; the lowest was a core of 8 people, who had attended throughout the whole series. I’m really glad that they did, because I wanted people to know that they could contact me and chat.
The format was this: I would issue some information about CLs and VCLs, such as managing a website. Then, I had an open mike Q & A where people could send me emails, or a chat message via GTW, and they could ask me pretty much anything.
The first part was reasonably successful, but I didn’t really get many questions in the second part at all. However, I don’t really regard this as a failure. I tried to engage ‘virtually’ by doing this, and at least people knew that I was there.
I will probably do the same again in the future. I am trying, but I think that it has to work two ways and I am open to ideas how to drive people to engage more. I am not sure whether they didn’t want to engage, simply didn’t understand what I was doing, or simply didn’t want to engage with *me* particularly. I guess you all have better things to do on a Wednesday night 🙂
The takeaway point is that engagement and communication is a lot harder than you think, and I’m trying different things to see what works. As always, my email is email@example.com if folks want to shoot me a mail. I’m open to ideas, and humble enough to admit that I don’t always get things right first, second, third or nth time. But I’m happy to keep trying.