Completing the purchase of TECHWR-L has put me in to unfamiliar and familiar territory. Unfamiliar to me is 95% of all the underlying technology running the site. Sure, I knew the names like LAMP, OpenX and Drupal because of my time at Infosys, but that’s certainly different than being the one responsible for it’s continued operations. But that’s another few posts at a later time.
The familiar part of my work comes with working with advertisers and sponsors. A moment ago (April 4 since this won’t be published for a while), I just drafted my first note to an advertiser. Thanks to all that fundraising a while ago, this is very familiar territory. The only difference is that instead of asking for money to support programs, we’re asking for money so those advertisers can reach our audience. It’s early days on all fronts. The folks we’re working with now are legacy sponsors and advertisers so it’s a get-to-know you process as well as satisfying their requirements.
My note to the sponsor, like everything right now, was drafted off the cuff so the old instincts kicked in. To be a good fundraiser one has to love the cause so they can sell it with passion. It’s about the members and their needs. It’s also about satisfying the wants and needs of those contributing. At the YMCA, this was called servant leadership and at least in Charlotte, this approach worked pretty well. So, since I don’t’ really have another mental model that seems as good and TECHWR-L has the same components – members and sponsors – this seems like the right approach.
Connie and I have yet to start getting to know the members and frankly haven’t really gotten to know many of the sponsors advertisers either. Right now, it’s about getting some of the fundamental aspects of the website in order. But, before I dive back into Linux (an angry penguin), Postfix and all this other technical stuff, I do get to have a little fun getting to know a few sponsors.