Work Notes #5

This week has been another crazy ride. It started with a small celebration: The community team had its first birthday. We’ve come a long way since then. I could present a review of the past months to the newsroom but kicked off with our biggest failures. I hate these retrospectives, where people only show their highlights and accomplishments. It creates a false impression of our work that includes a lot of trial and error, iteration, and – sometimes – also great success.

On Tuesday, I attended the Communication Summit 2020 in Zurich. I also helped with organizing the annual event, a joint venture between the Zurich Press Association and the Zurich Public Relations Association.

There wasn’t any significant progress in project Diamond this week, at least for the topics I’m in charge of. However, we deployed two critical features in the project Dialogue. Now, user accounts that belong to people within the newsroom get labeled. For the first time, journalists are now able to discuss with the other users transparently. I mentioned this feature already in the last work notes but now it’s also implemented in our apps.

Additionally, we implemented a new workflow for these newsroom accounts. Comments created by users of a specific role don’t have to be moderated anymore. This workflow will speed up the engagement between the journalists and the community. I’m happy that these two implementations happened so quickly.

Soon, our big TV project will launch. We all felt that including the users’ feedback in the first week was essential and an opportunity to build an active community around that product. We had to juggle around some ideas on how we could to that efficiently.

The TV project is very demanding. So my colleague was kind enough to cancel his vacation. I’m incredibly grateful for his sacrifice. It is all but obvious to do this, so I spontaneously went and bought him – a big whiskey enthusiast – a bottle of fine liquor. It was only a small gesture of gratitude but surprised him anyway. Being thankful for the energy people manage to muster sometimes is something that is still too rare. Too often, these efforts don’t get the recognition they deserve. So: Show your gratitude and give thanks.

To conclude the week, I met with a community manager of one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Switzerland. We started an informal exchange of ideas and approaches, and we hope to continue and bring even more people from different industries together to further the concept and power of the community work.

This week, I learned (again)…

  • that you cannot put a price on a thank you. Nevertheless, even small gestures have a significant impact on a relationship.
  • that being open-minded is a key asset: Always look for opportunities to exchange thoughts, ideas, and learnings even if they don’t come from your particular field.
  • that I need to get more time to myself. I’ve been on the road too much lately, and I feel physically exhausted.