Friday, May 26, 2006

professional etiquette


happyfunboy's super awesome guide to not being a community nimrod

professional laziness in the it sector existing long before vladville (or its creator, for that matter) was even a twinkle in anyone's eye.

so folks trying to pin the blame for clueless it nimrods on the vlad because of his contributions like vladville, orlando it pro, and sbs show makes even less sense than blaming it on something like fluoridated water.

if anything, it's the distinct opinion of your friendly neighborhood happyunboy that mr. mazek is one of the few folks telling it like it really is in the community. these are not direct quotes, but more yours truly channelling the spirit & attitude, to wit:
  • so basically, you are a glorified pencil sharpener.
  • again, why do people pay you?
  • a mailing list is a mailing list is a mailing list
  • starting a user group will suck you dry faster than a vampire with two straws
when your friendly neighborhood happyfunboy first started up a user group, vlad's guide, still in draft form at the time, was instrumental not just in helping kick off alabamasmb, but also to help plot a strategy for growth.

but the very first bits of advice in his guide, right up front, are not some kind of lollipops and gumdrops, pie in the sky, everything is beautiful, whitewashing job.

oh no...

his first advice consists of the following truths:
  • running a user group is hard work, each and every day.
  • you will see little to nothing in return for your efforts.
  • get comfortable with that...or don't even start one.
so no...the nimrod factory isn't located in orlando.

personally, i think of the community like a poker game...

if you want to be dealt in at all, you need to ante up.

now, if you don't know how to play...

folks will help you get the basics down for a hand or two...

if you don't act like a jerk, that is.

but after that, it's gonna be totally up to you. they're not gonna want to give you advice all night long, or give you their chips for free just so you don't feel like such a clueless, dead money loser.

and worst of all...

if you wanna watch tv, or yammer on the phone, or do something other than play cards...

go sit over there on the couch and don't bother the rest of us.

the community works best when folks demonstrate respect for the value of someone else's time & efforts.

a basic thank you is a very good start...

trust me on that.

but the reality is...

any amount of time someone spends helping someone else for free, is time that person has taken away from their own...
  • job
  • customers
  • loved ones
  • r&r
without expectation of anything in return.

so if you ask for something, at the very least you should have expended some honest effort trying to find the answer yourself.

if you have an area of expertise, an offer to reciprocate in kind for that person at a later time is a great way to pay the goodwill forward...

but do something.

demonstrate just a little bit that you're not a lazy, crumb-munching leech...

that's all anybody really expects.


Blogger Susanne said...

Here, here...

It's funny but something so simple as a 'thank you' goes a long way.

Think about where your business would be without proactive people in the community no matter how small you view the difference. If you realise the benefit then look to repay it and if you can't see it then you're not looking hard enough.

7:56 AM  

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