In his post yesterday, Jason Della Rocca said something that really resonated with me about â€œassociations being the place where members can be geeks about what they love.â€
The term â€œgeekâ€ is one of those that can be used in a derogatory way, but itâ€™s often used proudly within the various permutations of geeky communities. Whether youâ€™re a geek about science fiction, engineering, ancient history, IT, or art, there are few things in life that are more fun than sharing time with those who share your geeky passionsâ€”to â€œgeek outâ€ with them about a great book you just read within your favored subject area, pick to pieces a movie that got all of the facts wrong, or debate the finer details of a subject that outsiders wouldnâ€™t begin to understand. (Just as an example, my degree is in religious studies. Just ask any of my coworkers; you donâ€™t want to get me started on certain topics or youâ€™ll find yourself hearing a lot more than you wanted to know.)
I personally have had the great opportunity to attend both the Institute for Organization Management and a bunch of ASAE & The Center events, and in both cases, one of my favorite things is to connect with other association professionals and geek out over association stuff. Wow, your volunteer president did that? Really? How did you handle it? Have you ever had to communicate with your members about a dues increase? How did it work out?
Association bloggers are another case in point. Itâ€™s fun to hear them geek out about various aspects of association management; itâ€™s fun to participate in the geekery. And itâ€™s both fun and reassuring to see that others share your passionsâ€”whether for association management, religious studies, or what have you.
Really, geekiness is the foundation on which associations were built. Help your members embrace their inner professional or industry geekâ€”and geek out with them!