Community Archaeologists

 I was working with our team of Community Connection Directors around a in between meeting activity calendar of events that is truly network driven.  Sounds easy? NOT!  If you build Communities for a living, you know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. 

Often times you have to “herd cats” who are busy with C suite conversations and difficult to schedule, yet express deep interest in the serial lurker sense of the word to get more engaged with their professional learning community.  Therefore, I often find myself coaching community managers to go on an archaeology ‘dig’.   Well, what does that mean Lauren?   You need to “go on a dig” to uncover, discover and get to know each element of your community members.  The purpose of the dig is to understand motivations and the individual community archetype which can allow you to customize preferred your interaction style or customize the membership to the individual.    For example, during the dig, I will interview a community member and ask them what would make their network membership indispensible?  What keeps them up at night? What type of content or next practices are they seeking?  Taking the hours required to uncover these layers becomes really important, hence the archaeologist. 

Whether it’s an artifact INAH finds through dusting off a rock in remote parts of Mexico or they spend countless hours thinking about each individual member as part of their archaeology journey.    The metaphor really does work.    It’s the persistence, the continued commitment and the tireless nature of the ‘dig’ that will keep us inspired to continue to pursue the ultimate goal of connection.

I am at the #ocu10 today and sense there are many community archaeologists out there discovering new artifacts that will be part of a collection someday.

2 thoughts on “Community Archaeologists

  1. I like the archeologist metaphor – reminds me that there is so much to be discovered in many communities – and it sounds far more exiting than ‘auditing’ the community!

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