Ann All asks in her last post Are Social Rewards Enough for Online Community Members?
She pings community leaders from Microsoft and Dell about it and they name the following reasons for participating in community:
– Opportunities for them to speak directly with product engineering
– Early access to products Personal reasons
Connecting with peers
High interest in the topic
All great reasons and I agree, direct money would bring in a dimension that isn’t beneficial for that dynamic. On the other hand nothing makes me happier than to help SAP Mentors succeed in their career and I take every chance I can get to open doors that lead to opportunities for them to put food on the table for their families. Thinking about the question over night, here is the biggest overlooked motivating factor: Working with highly motivated smart passionate professionals. People who are:
– Interested in tinkering, trying things out
– Improving things
Love intellectual challenges
Want to succeed together
Help each other out
Like good friends tell us when we step out of bounds and help us to get it right
This is going way beyond connecting with peers and a reason I feel energized to go to work in the morning, as the SAP Mentor hearder I am dealing mostly with high motivated people smarter than me.
Ed’s SAP Mentor highlight of 2009: This year the mentors transformed from a group of individuals to a team. Since the inception of the program, I went from being proud of my individual accomplishment of being a mentor, to being honored and humbled to be part of a winning team. As a remote worker, it is nice to be part of a virtual group of coworkers and friends.
To nurture an environment like the SAP Mentor initiative where these highly motivated smart passionate professionals come together, is an often overlooked factor that makes community collaboration and participation happen.