August 13, 2005

Part 3: Magic and OnFac

I eventually moved to a position where I was not just on AOL. This was a new position, created for me, because I seemed to know boards. I did…and didn’t. I felt my way around and eventually carved out a niche once again. Carving my own niche works well for me, if you haven’t figured it out by now. I asked for and eventually got a few paragraph segment in a weekly staff newsletter. I also got a board where volunteers could chat about board tending. (community building really) The board I had down.

The weekly newsletter, well, that was a bit daunting because of the different dynamic. Some weeks I had a lot to say, usually because a board post had set me thinking. Other weeks, the deadline would be coming and I was toast. I have no more ideas. What else can I say to explain community? Out came my bookmarks, the online community toolkit, my not so secret weapon, will help! It no doubt will have something that will say to me “Here is your topic.” Mostly it became something for me mull over and play with and find the nugget under The Well, the corporate communication feel. The mulling happened while nursing a baby, grocery shopping, preschool runs and play dates. Changing diapers, working puzzles, playing with duplos, reading picture books and working out what we (my coworkers and I) might do about flames, spammers, and dead boards at the same time as I was mulling created a motherly multi-tasking that gave an odd slant to the result.

It worked and I kept learning. I loved watching people tend who were good at it. I loved figuring out what worked and what didn’t. I really loved helping people who didn’t think they had “it” or had the right board to make a community find out that just wasn’t the case.

For a long time, I had the coolest job in the world. Part of what made it the coolest job in the world was that it was magic everyday. When it wasn’t magic, I knew it was time to go read OnFac or Nancy or Howard(though he was often intimidating), then go play in a community to find the reason that I could really say I loved my job. Playing in the magic makes your magic sparkle again you know. Without OnFac, I am not sure I would have ever been able to find the words or frame the ideas that gave me the ability to share community building ideas the way I did. Happy Anniversary OnFac!


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4 comments:

Lee said...

you know Tarrant what I think make us similiar in different kinds of ways is that we are outstanding support people...anticipating outcomes and needs, reacting before needed, understanding the flow of what goes on in the background...interesting series of posts :)

Shelly said...

You do work magic, and I will say the other day I went to look for some questions on your site that you moved them to and it was down and I was depressed I haven't checked back there this week because I had some ideas in my head this week but was it a fluke? Or did you take them down?

Anonymous said...

oh good grief shelly don't ask me. I have no idea. Still working on the updated site. Umm http://cmtarrant-ivil.tripod.com/boardqanda/id63.html should still work though.

Emsxiety said...

I will agree.. you are amazing!