One of my jobs at PubSub is community outreach. This means I monitor the blogging arena, make contacts, and evangelize the PubSub service. Recently, I came across a few blog posts from students in a media class at Purdue University taught by professor Mary Godwin. Her students have started blogs and one fo their assignments is to create subscriptions on PubSub. So, I wrote to her:
I’ve noticed that a few of your students are blogging about PubSub (it seems to be an assignment) and I am thrilled that you have included us in your classroom activities. If I can be of any assistance with helping your students use our service, please do not hesitate to contact me.”
The other day, I get this reply (I have permission from Mary to post this):
“Thanks, Steven. Just your having taken notice of the class activities has made a difference for the students. I mentioned your email in class, and for many a kind of light came on that they really /could /become a part of the bigger conversation taking place “out there.” In this case, your mention of support got a lot of mileage. I’ll be in touch with any questions.”
We’ve had a few e-mail exchanges since then, and she has recently sent her class schedule, which includes all of the big Web 2.0 tools out there (Flickr, Technorati, Del.icio.us, and many more).
This is also a lesson in “getting out there” and not being afraid to connect with others. We throw around the word community a lot these days. To me, this is what community building is truly about.