It Takes a Village or Sometimes Just an Online Community…

We have all been to one type of industry trade show or another in our careers. The focus of these events is usually product or solution education, activities and sweepstakes that drive attendees to the tradeshow floor, big after hours networking parties, and, of course, the announcement of what the next big industry trend will be. Sound familiar?

Have you ever stopped to think about how all that information gets socialized? In the past, you would have read about it in an industry trade magazine, an analyst report, a press release perhaps, or sometimes you might receive an email inviting you to attend yet another live or virtual event on the subject. You may also belong to an industry specific organization that has monthly meetings where the new trends are featured as the topics for discussion.


Not anymore! The world has changed and on top of all of these traditional communication methods, you now have to consider the huge impact of social media. We hear the announcement of a new trend and that trend immediately gets tweeted and retweeted right from the second it is announced. If enough buzz is generated, a few blogs are written about the subject, which are then tweeted and again retweeted. Starting to see the pattern?

Someone may also take that same afore mentioned blog and share it on LinkedIn, whether it is a post to his profile or to open a discussion within a group to which she belongs. If the company has an online community, this behavior is frequently repeated there too. All of these social groups we belong to, participate in, follow, like, etc. make up the social community. The people within that community that do the most tweeting, blogging, and commenting in the socialverse become the top influencers. We now live in a world where our “village” is not so much in-person but rather resides in cyber space. Our village leaders are the ones with the highest Klout scores.

Here’s a great upcoming real world example: the VMworld conference in Barcelona is taking place October 13-16th. Amongst all of the activities that are happening, it is important to note that the rock stars of the online technical communities will be coming together face-to-face to celebrate their cyber village. This event is aptly named vRockstar aka Virtual Rock Star.

vRockstar is a community focused event sponsored by various VMware partners. The event is designed to bring influential members of the technical community within the social media realm together to open a dialogue for further conversation. Some of the sponsors include Cisco, VMUG, and EMC. Each of these organizations has communities of their own that have very influential members who can be a great resource for you. Let’s take a look at some of those communities.

Cisco has a community program called the Cisco Champions. The Cisco champions are passionate about IT, love sharing knowledge, and want access to Cisco experts. Cisco views vRockStar as a great example of how community can work together to welcome community. At past events, Cisco has seen connections that were made carry through the conference and continue on throughout the year. Want to be a Cisco Champion? 2015 nominations are open now!

The EMC Elect Program is EMC‘s premier social media brand advocacy and influencer recognition program. Each year EMC encourages members to keep up their great work through social syndication. Members are enabled with exclusive access to product launches, technical sessions, beta programs, and unique in-person events. The nominations to become an EMC Elect member in 2015 are happening now.

The EMC ViPR Community is a central place for IT professionals, developers, and business partners to learn about, try, develop, and collaborate on ViPR Software-Defined Storage, ViPR SRM, and Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) Appliance (Powered by ViPR). By joining the community you can learn about how ViPR products help you get the most out of your storage investments, get direct access to developers, and join in on the conversation.

The Service Assurance Suite Community is designed to enable EMC Smarts, NCM, and Watch4net users, who share a common interest to engage with one another for collaboration and innovation. /Service Assurance Suite User Group “Members Only” area of this community provides access to exclusive User Group Events, webcasts, and activities. There is also the opportunity to participate in discussions that will significantly impact future product strategies and directions.

The VMware User Group, better known as VMUG, is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events. It is free to become a VMUG Member and those who join gain access to user conferences, program discounts, local groups, virtual education, and more.

These are just a few of the technical communities out there that can help you find your cyber village. If you are a social rock star or one in training and are going to be at VMworld Barcelona, be sure to join us at the vRockstar Event. The event will take place on Sunday, October 12th, at, of course, the Hard Rock Café. Be sure to register today for your ticket and kick off VMworld the right way. You might even connect with some of the top VMworld conference speakers or even be the big winner of a Hard Rock Café Barcelona personalized electric guitar!

Are there other communities you belong to and want to share? Tell us about them in the comments section of this blog.

Hope to see you at the vRockstar Event on the 12th!

About the Author: Jamie Doherty