I've been putting this post off for a while, but it's time to face facts. As I mentioned in my previous #EventProfs chat update, I became the temporary community manager for the #EventProfs Twitter chats for two reasons- 1) I got a lot out of them when I first joined Twitter, and didn't want to see them dissolve, and 2) I figured even a half-a-community manager was better than nothing. Unfortunately, I think it's time to admit that my schedule no longer permits me to have even one cheek on the chair. And so, for the following reasons, I'm announcing the semi-official retirement of the #EventProfs chats:
- Attendance was incredibly sparse. On the night of one of our "biggest" guests, the head of Wolfgang Puck catering, there were at most five participants in the chat.
- For other up-and-coming #EventProfs I was able to wrangle in to guest moderate, there were more than a couple complete non-chats, where nobody showed up at all.
- Since being on hiatus, exactly two people have asked- what happened to the chats?
- I pushed out for two separate, two week periods requests to fill out a very short survey on the future of the chats. 31 people responded.
- The data on those surveys was a bit contradictory:
- Approximately 50% of those responding said that the biggest reason they missed the chats was that it was an inconvenient time
- About the same amount answered that changing the date or time would not make it more likely that they would be able to attend- that they were just too busy.
- Yet, almost 80% said they wanted the chats to continue and would try to make it more often.
- Since taking over the chats, I've taken on a lot more responsibilities, not the least of which is an increased presence in teaching classes for the Event Leadership Institute, as well as becoming a full-time co-host of the weekly industry netcast, the Event Alley Show
I think the survey results actually mirror my own feelings and situation- too busy to be the kind of quality community manager that the project would require to really get it moving again, but really wanting to see them continue on and thrive. I met so many wonderful people in those chats. So many of the good things in my life and career, I can trace back to them in one way or another.
Was the low turnout depressing? Sure, but these are not sour grapes- just an acknowledgement of the reality of the situation. Without being able to devote the kind of time needed to really promote the chats, how could I really expect them to take off?
So I thank all of you who contributed to the short lived revival of the chats. I met some new folks and made some new Twitter friends, which was always my favorite part of the chats. I cleaned up the wiki a little bit, and I encourage you to wander through the archives, as a lot of the topics are still relevant today.
Now, it goes without saying that if anyone wants to take up the charge, please don't hesitate to contact me, and I'll be happy help you get things going again. But it might be time to finally realize that the community has moved on, and formed other communities. I know I'll be doing all I can to create a new community around Event Alley, and hope to see a lot of you there. There's still so much we can learn from each other.
Be well, my friends.