Santa’s little helper… and if any of you are fans of “The Simpsons” I’m not talking about a greyhound… is a xmas gift from the SDL Community and SDL AppStore teams to make it easier to get help when you’re working in SDL Trados Studio. The SDL Community has become incredibly busy in the last few years, so on the whole I’m confident people have learned how to find where to post and navigate through the myriad of forums available to them. Certainly we have some good short links and I have written about the communities before:
What a horrible name… lurkers! It carries all kinds of negative connotations from science fiction monsters to the stuff of nightmares where we think of spying and being followed by something or someone we don’t like. Of course I’m not using this term in these contexts so I better explain. I’m talking about communities and user participation, or more specifically about users who read and observe but rarely contribute to the conversations at all.
Community managers often think about user participation based on a 90:9:1 rule where 90% of users are referred to as lurkers who read all the activity but don’t contribute themselves, 9% contribute from time to time and 1% are pretty active and probably account for most of the contributions. I guess I can see why this negatively charged name is used, but in addition to being a horrible name it doesn’t really do justice to how important this group of community users are.
Last week I spent a few days in Amsterdam talking community with a group of SDL people. We were there to see how we can shape the community and make it a place where anyone using our products, or just thinking about using them, will be able to find what they need, talk about them or just share experiences in a safe friendly environment. Actually it’s a lot more than a safe friendly environment… it’s the only place where you can say what you think and guarantee it’ll be seen by the right people in SDL. This could be product managers, developers, support engineers, sales guys, marketing teams, the CEO of the company… and even I have a part to play! It’s also full of real product experts… so your peers who have years of experience and know how the products behave. Things don’t always work the way it says in the book, and the book definitely doesn’t cover everything that’s possible! But if you have a question, more than likely it’ll be something your fellow community members have come across before, and if they haven’t there’s a good chance they’ll have something interesting to say about it! Continue reading