What community has changed your life? And why?

I’m curious to hear from y’all.

What communities have brought positive change to your life?

And can you explain how or why it did?

What community has changed your life?

And why?

— Rosie Sherry (@rosiesherry) August 1, 2022

IGN Community is where I spent much of my early years truly getting into the world of message boards/forums. Met endless folks, learned endless things, stayed up far to many nights until 4am talking with people. It was fun, it was a ton of my life. It’s also where I was forced into learning how to host forums so we could splinter off into our own community (which in turn led me to running my own web hosting business until I graduated high school).

Geek Squad forums were life changing for me and many others. It was also one of the hardest parts of leaving Best Buy/Geek Squad after nearly a decade, no more forum access. It was just the ability to interact w/ thousands of other coworkers, across the world, instantly. This was such a foreign concept in 2006 for organizations, and it was also something Best Buy arguably hated for existing due to the security concerns and conversations occurring on a PHPBB forum that IT didn’t own (Eventually that changed a bit) - It was also the culture though, everyone who participated in the forums was part of this amazing club. You became part of something bigger. I was a top 20 poster there with like 20,000 posts when I left the company I think, and it was the ability to use the Community that made me so great at my job, I wasn’t ever the smartest, I just knew how to use the Community to always find the answers. it was rough to give that up.

Anaplan Community was what I thought was my silly temp job until I found something more permanent, instead it opened my eyes to the world of Community, and 5+ years later I am tremendously further along in my career than I ever thought I would be, and never in a million years imagined I would be getting paid anything for what I used to do as a kid for fun. So, that’s all a bit of a positive life change I figure :smile:

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I love this reply so much. I really enjoy hearing about how people use or used to use forums and how much enjoyment they got from them.

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SitePoint Forums | Web Development & Design Community changed my life several times over. Firstly, it was the first community I ever discovered, back when I was a baby software developer looking for support. It was mind blowing to find a place where I could get answers to questions within seconds, any time of day.

As I fell in love with the concept of community, I joined the moderation team at SitePoint and again it changed my life because it was the first time I’d seen behind the scenes and began to understand the science behind the technology.

The third time it changed my life was when I left the dev world to take up the role of community manager… at SitePoint.

And the fourth time was when I migrated it off vB onto Discourse and discovered the tool (and organisation) that would define the rest of my career.

Doesn’t really get much more life changing.

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Community groups played a huge role in my life and career. Breaking down into chapters…

  • Early 00’s: ezBoard

    • My first taste of online community
    • Learned a ton about HTML and CSS thanks to forum theming
    • In hindsight they were ahead of their time and couldn’t dial in the right biz model
  • Mid 00’s: Gaming forums (powered by Invision!)

    • Worked my way up to staff… unpaid, of course :sweat_smile:
    • Foot in the door with professional community management
    • Dealt with game publishers, legal teams, advertisers
  • Late 00’s to 2019ish: WordPress

    • Started hosting in-person WP meetups, workshops and conferences
    • Built my career around the community, and the connections I made
    • Led me to GoDaddy and my first full-time community role

As of the last few years, professional peer communities on Slack have been the most impactful, along with some local FB groups and niche subreddits. :person_shrugging:

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Startup Weekend !

This was the first time I felt i found my tribe. I enjoyed so much my experience as participant, and then suddenly became organizer, facilitator and later full time employee in community building.

All my current friendships began at Startup Weekend. I am truly grateful.

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