Yearning for Summer

Onions-250It feels like spring today in my part of Chicagoland, and over on Twitter I see people on the West Coast preparing to head out to their farmer’s markets. So now I want to be at mine.

Unfortunately, it’s only mid-February, and here in the Midwest we won’t see a farmer’s market for months to come. Memorial Day, where are you?!

I want sunshine and rows of fresh produce and flowers—lettuce and spinach, strawberries, live plants for the garden. I want the party atmosphere and the fun of seeing friends and neighbors out and about. Continue reading

What Can Associations Learn from Andrew Sullivan’s Paid-Content Decision?

Value, Paywll, Content Scrabble anagramDaily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan announced last week that he will begin charging readers to access his blog, The Dish. This is very big news in the journalism world, where the question of whether readers will actually pay for good content rages. But it also carries with it a lesson for associations – and really for anyone who has a website that they want people to visit. Continue reading

What “Cheers” can Teach You About Online Communities


I can’t get the theme song from “Cheers” out of my head today. My son has started watching the show in reruns (Netflix streaming is an amazing thing, especially paired with a Roku box), so I’ve been hearing that theme song a lot lately:

“Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.”

This got me started thinking about communities, and especially online communities. And I think perhaps the “Cheers” writers and song lyricist hit on something of a universal truth about community. Community, in any form — online or in person; in a bar or college dorm, or at a meeting or conference — is about making people feel welcome. A community is a place where people know and recognize each other, and rely on and support each other. Continue reading