How do you build an organic community? And…pushing that question in a little more philosophical direction, if you work to build a community, is it still organic? Stick with me on this because I am building to a relevant point.
Backup Exec is celebrating its Pearl Anniversary this year, (I just learned that 30 years = Pearl) and is about to add its 2,000,000th customer, not user, not individual but organization. That is a long time and lot of people all over the world. You would think a user base that broad for a product with that kind of history would have a large, well connected community of users and acknowledged experts. Well. It does but they exist in pockets, in cities and communities all around the world. Where they don’t exist is online.
VMware has a pretty cool group of all-stars known as vExperts and this group shares their expertise and knowledge well beyond their local community or town. According to VMware
The annual VMware vExpert title is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. The title is awarded to individuals (not employers) for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion for VMware technology above and beyond their job requirements.
That’s a pretty awesome honor to receive. Those who have been named vExperts have a natural community because of their common subject matter expertise, profession and drive to make the VMware experience better for everyone.
Backup Exec has that group of users but it has never been connected formally. We want to connect the Backup Exec users who are passionate about their professions, are excited about their work and want to share their years of expertise for the benefit of the community. We want the kind of people who are passionate about technology, love sharing what they know and like nothing better than connecting with others who share similar skills and interests.
But therein lies the rub. As much as any company wants their uses to come together, we don’t it to be an inauthentic, corporate driven experience. So let’s be honest with each other. We want you to be a part of our BExpert program. But more than that, we want you to WANT to be part of our BExpert program. This is a brand new community that is inspired by the success of similar communities, but one that, we hope, will be unique. As we are building this community, we will be offering new incentives and perks for the BExperts. Currently, these include
- Recognition as the best of the best as a Backup Exec BExpert
- Access to a private BExpert Forum where you will interact directly with Backup Exec engineering and product management members
- Participate in BExpert exclusive community offers for private betas, product feedback and more
- Access to BExpert exclusive events at Symantec Conferences
If that sounds appealing to you, and you think you have the chops for it, come out to https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/groups/backup-exec-bexpert to apply. We are looking for top shelf folks who want to mingle with other top shelf folks. Is that you?