I have decided to leave Jive Software to do something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time … start my own consulting business focused on online communities and social media. Many of my friends know that I have been talking about going independent and moving into consulting for a while now. The timing just seemed right to me.
I was hired at Jive a little more than a year ago to build a developer community around their new Clearspace product. When I joined Jive, there were less than 50 employees, and my role was very broad, which gave me the opportunity to do a variety of really interesting activities. I learned so much and had a great time building the developer community and getting participation from many of our customers. Over time, the role has changed, narrowed, and become more tactical. It started to feel less and less like I wanted to continue in the role, and I started to realize that I was no longer the person that Jive needed in this role. I recently had a heart to heart discussion on this topic with Matt Tucker, Jive co-founder and CTO; we talked about they type of person that Jive needed to have in the developer relations role and my desire to move on to something else. I did have the opportunity to look internally within Jive to see if I should continue in a different role, but I couldn’t find a role that appealed to me more than starting my own consulting practice.
Today I announce the creation of Fast Wonder Consulting. This consulting practice seems like a natural extension of the Fast Wonder blog where I have been blogging about community and social media for several years.
Recently, I’ve seen a number of companies struggling with how to get more savvy about social media and interacting with online communities. My focus will be on providing consulting services to help guide companies in developing a comprehensive social media and community engagement strategy. I will help companies engage with their community both online and offline to help generate buzz around their products. I can also help companies find, monitor, and respond to what others are saying about them online. You can find more details about the services that I will provide on the consulting page.
I am also pleased to announce that Jive will be my first client. I will be continuing to manage the Jivespace developer community with a reduced time commitment and fewer responsibilities. This helps to ensure that the Jivespace developer community doesn’t suffer from my leaving while giving Jive some time to find a full-time replacement. It also frees up my time to start picking up additional clients.
Later this year, Jive will also be looking for someone with a Java development background and community management expertise to fill the developer relations role. This person would mentor partners and customers who are writing Clearspace plugins, and he or she will contribute technical content and expertise to Jivespace and other technical communities. Please feel free to ping me if you are interested along with submitting your resume to Jive’s online job site.
I still love Jive, the people, and the culture. I am sure that I will continue to engage with Jive as a part of my role in Legion of Tech, since Jive has been such a great supporter of the local Portland tech community through event sponsorship and participation. I also hope to have other opportunities to work with Jive in the future.