My experience with building communities of practice over the last several years indicates that you need 2 types of members (actually, you can break this down further ... but let's keep it simple for now)
- You need a small group of passionate LEADERS to build and cultivate the community. These are the people that are blogging, they are engaged in the discussions, they write whitepapers, etc. They are constantly sharing and learning from each other. They have a true interest and passion in mastering and improving the domain. They are intrinsically motivated vs. being told to do it. This number typically is in the range from 5-15% of the total membership once the community is established. (its usually a higher percentage during start-up)
- You also need people that will listen and learn from the LEADERS. Great leaders want audiences and people they can lead and influence. If there are no listeners, leaders will quickly move on.
Here is a whiteboard diagram that we use to show how this all works.
As you can see from the diagram, the more members we have in our network, the more collective knowledge we build and the more value we collectively create.
Did you know that there are over 330K people that are part of the My DeveloperWorks world??? ... and that number is growing at a rate of about 1000 new members a day. So my question is how many of you (330K+ people) are passionate about or interested in the domain of application security. If you are interested in being part of the group that cares and feeds for this community, please let us know by adding a comment here to this blog. If you just want to learn from others, please join us. Also, please help us spread the word.
To learn more about our community, click here.
One last thing .... Please be patient with us as we get this started ... we still need to touch up some areas. If you don't see something of value ... please wait a week or 2 and come back.