Back in January of 2009, Chris Brogan published “You’re Doing It Wrong.” It was a short, but eloquent post and one that I refer to with some regularity. Chris’ point was that a lot of people will tell you to do something this way or that way and insist it is an absolute – the only choice or, at least, the grossly superior one. And that’s that. One problem: it’s not.
When I write here at ManagingCommunities.com, I am dispensing some advice from my experience, drawing from real situations that I deal with.
But, you will pretty much never hear me say “this is the only way to do this!” The reason for this is simple enough. It’s not the only way to do it.
Sometimes, we get caught up in this nonsense. We want to sound authoritative, so we make bold statements about what is or isn’t OK in a given space. I run into this all the time. Online and in person at conferences. And it can be annoying when someone tells me that this is how they do it, which is not how I do it, but how they do it is really the only way. Yeah, sure.
Occasionally, someone reads the book I wrote or skims it and thinks it’s some sort of challenge on their man or womanhood. Like they need to go out of their way to say that they disagree with me in parts or that they’ve had success doing it differently. As if they can build a rep based on disagreeing with me.
Once again, though, the problem with this is that the book, like this blog, just shares ideas that I have had success with or that I think are helpful. That’s all. So, you take them and apply them to your unique situation (or not). And the world keeps spinning.
I do the same. I learn from other people. I learn from what I see. I learn from conference talks that I attend. I am in a perpetual state of learning. Admission of growth is not a weakness or a suggestion that you are anything less than a veteran.
There is no one path for online communities. There is no one way. There are a multitude of ways. I try to share effective ways that I know of. But, they aren’t the only ways.