A huge thanks to all 33 NetSquared organizers who filled out this year’s survey.
The goal was to take the temperature of the community and get a sense of how organizers are doing. We want to identify what is working and what could be improved.
The survey will help set a baseline for next year’s questions, allowing TechSoup Global to see how you think we’re doing year-over-year. The full survey results are published in the organizer’s handbook.
Recommendations and Next Steps
Several un-addressed needs were identified by the survey:
Informal communications channel to supplement the email list for announcements.
Better sharing of NetSquared event ideas and formats between organizers.
I am suggesting the following changes based on your feedback:
We experiment with an optional Facebook group for NetSquared organizers who want an informal way to share and connection.
Increase sharing of NetSquared events, videos, photos and reports on the NetSquared blog and encourage organizers to read, comment and contribute. Please subscribe to the blog’s rss feed and follow NetSquared on Twitter and Facebook.
Please rate your current experience as an organizer
25 of 33 (75%) respondents were satisfied or very satisfied.
I’m satisfied with these these results, but it means that 21% of organizers aren’t satisfied and I suspect that survey respondents self-selected to more engaged, more satisfied organizers. I will use this statistic as a benchmark to compare against for next year’s survey.
Do you expect to be a NetSquared organizer in six months?
78% of respondents said “yes”. 22% said “maybe” and nobody responded “no”.
The most common reason for answering “maybe” is that the organizer plans to move to another community.
We hope to increase retention of NetSquared organizers with the help of our Regional Ambassadors pilot, NetSquared Camps, and a focus on the fundamentals like co-organizer recruitment.
Please rate the following tools and supports by how helpful they are to you as an organizer
Organizer’s handbook wiki
This is a core NetSquared resource but 12% of you don’t know about it! I’ll bring it up more often and have updated my email signature to include a link to the handbook.
Net2 organizer email list
The mailing list has been our primary communications channel, but we received a lot of feedback in the survey saying that they’ve “lost track of the Google Group” and that we should consider supplementing the email list with another tool (Facebook groups were mentioned most often).
Your meetup.com group page
Groups that use Meetup find it very valuable. 70% of you ranked it very helpful.
Group pages on NetSquared.org
Only 21% of you find the group aggregator pages on NetSquared.org useful. We ask for your patience while the NetSquared site undergoes re-visioning and redevelopment.
Blog on NetSquared.org
The NetSquared blog doesn’t get a lot of participation from organizers, which is a shame because it has the potential to resolve one of the more frequent requests: “discover event formats and topics from other organizers”.
Personal outreach by the NetSquared Community Manager by email/phone/video chat
NetSquared’s high-touch approach of one-on-one support is popular with organizers. We plan to expand this support with the help of our Regional Ambassadors.
Social Media promotion of your events
Social media support for events is valued by organizers. We are intending to maintain our support with the help of new(ish) team member Joyce Bettencourt.
Community Calls and virtual office hours
Organizers are split about the office hours and hangouts. Most don’t participate, but every event brings out a small group. I am going to continue to hold NetSquared office hours on a monthly basis because the level of participation is slowly growing (nobody showed up for the first couple hangouts!) and because they send a powerful signal to organizers that “our door is open.”
Theme months (Social Media September, Digital Storytelling Challenge, etc.)
Theme months like Social Media September are not a run-away success with organizers yet! However, I plan to win you over. From my perspective the theme months have been successful at demonstrating the breadth and strength of the NetSquared community. Equally importantly the theme months offer a good way for organizers (especially new organizers) to get involved and hold an event. The proof is in the pudding - we held more events during Social Media September than any previous month.
In additional to the NetSquared home-office support organizers highlighted the key contributions of their co-organizers, volunteers, venue partners and presenters. Amen to that!
What’s working well when it comes to communications and support?
Selected and edited responses from the survey:
The idea of connecting people and projects is working. Many participants are ready to design projects and publish online for a global audience.
I mostly rely on email. If I have a question or concern, I communicate and always get a reply.
I love all the check-ins! I’m just sorry I can’t always respond more quickly.
Personalized support for team members is invaluable.
When we DO stuff I feel well supported with encouragement.
Communication and support is great and the communication between the local groups is going fairly well.
What could be improved when it comes to communications and support?
Selected and edited responses from the survey:
I lose track of the Google Groups as I don’t have time to track all the conversations.
Though the mailing list seems to be working well, there is also a need to consider utilizing other social media channels just as often as possible such as twitter, facebook, google+ etc.
Having the email list also post to an FB group or some linkage would be good. Email is becoming less frequently accessed, and a different/additional mechanism may be helpful for people that use email less than other social communication.
I wish there was some kind of official NetSquared repository of all the great slides and videos from local meetups.
Since we are a group of volunteers I really don’t feel there is much support from the parent organization. I believe some structure and reminders from Eli would go a looong way in helping us motivate for the month to month meetups.
Although we are part of a community, I still feel isolated in my work. I think making an effort to meet up in person at events like NTEN, etc, or even asking people when they’ll be at events, would be helpful for creating a community. Why do we all do it? What do we get out of it? I’d love to hear from others….