Some of you will recall that I wrote a post last week on the revised vision that I have developed for myself and much of my work. In my post I explained that:
Moving forward my time and related energies will be focused on living, laughing and earning by building connections, facilitating conversations and leading change to make the world a much better place for kids and families. I also plan to spend much more time exploring and writing about the intersection between our work lives and personal lives and the role that technology/social media plays in everything we do.
A new vision always sounds great…but sometimes it is nothing more than words. In my case, I want to be very open and accountable about what I am doing and also about where I am going. I also wanted to immediately connect my vision to moving toward outcomes. You see, if a vision is only words – without the actions to bring it to life; then it really means nothing at all. In order to support my efforts of moving toward achieving the above vision it has helped to begin launching new things. Creating my own new site here at www.boydjane.ca was one way to do that. Another was to launch the new Early Learning & Child Care Canada Website.
Here is what the site looks like as of today.
Clearly, the site is still very much in the design and development stages. All of that said, what I really wanted to do was to begin to build interest and also put a stake in the ground about the fact that something great is going to be happening online in Canada related to the field of Early Learning & Child Care. As such, I followed along the lines of what others such as AJ Leon – Pursuit of Everything & Greg Hartle – New Methods have done to prepare for the launch of their own new sites. Initially they have been sharing a limited amount of information on their new site landing pages. In the meantime; they have been working very hard to raise awareness, build interest and create a following. All of these things will ultimately support the communities that they wish to build. Assuming that they will have products to sell on their sites one day; then their community supporters stand a good chance of eventually also purchasing products or services from them. Behind the scenes of Early Learning & Child Care Canada, I have been doing a lot of this same type of work. As I move forward, I am integrating what I learn from this feedback into the initial design and features for the site. I also asking questions and then listening, listening and doing more listening. I plan to meet with many of the folks that I think this community will appeal to and I will be using their feedback to determine much of what the site will offer. Eventually, I will also work on ways to create opportunities for online connections to evolve to also include offline relationship building; though recognize this will be a long term effort that will likely evolve over time.
I have also launched a Facebook Page:
And just yesterday got a new Twitter account underway:
One of my key goals for this project is to also gather ongoing feedback, support and ideas from people who visit my www.boydjane.ca website and also from the various social media and online communities that I am part of. To date; I have found members of these communities to be exceptionally supportive and really willing to help me reach for my vision. It only makes sense to continue to do this; as I know it will truly help me create that very best online community for the Canadian Early Learning & Child Care field.
When you are building community online what key strategies do you use? What should I be paying the most attention to in the very early days of developing this community?