We need more bloggers like Sean O'Driscoll, who recently stepped into the fray. Community is his job - he lives it everyday. He's the GM of Support Communities and MVP at Microsoft. While some of you might groan that Microsoft doesn't get community, I think you'll see that he has a healthy point of view and is soundly on the cluetrain.
Just recently he posted a 4-part series on "Convincing the Unconverted" and the 4th installment was my favorite - he calls it the "Assumptive Close" and it's about focusing on community as an inevitability.
It essentially goes like this: â€œYou are going to do it anyway. Why do you want to be last?â€?? Users are going to talk about your products, policies, licensing, people, everything! You really donâ€™t get to decide this. The only decision you get to make is whether or not to participate in that conversation. You must also accept the fact that you CANNOT control the conversation. In fact, the harder you try the more impossible it is. So, what Iâ€™m saying is that you (your company) are eventually going to get involved in community (itâ€™s not some fad). Stop selling the company on whether or not to engage and tell them that it is a foregone conclusion that they will. You are here to discuss not the â€œif,â€?? but the when and the how.
Indeed. Welcome to the blogosphere Sean.