Tuesday Buzz: Fully Engaged and Ready to Grow

A membership expert talks about a member experience that knocked her socks off. Also: a Silicon Valley human resources fiasco that offers plenty of lessons to learn from.

What engages the engagers?

Amanda Kaiser, a membership marketing pro known for her blog Smooth the Path, is really excited by her local Toastmasters chapter.

She notes that the organization did a few things that got her on the hook. For one, it made the first couple of meetings free, so she could get a taste of the atmosphere without the pressure of a full commitment. That helped her to see whether the member proposition was right for her needs.

“Toastmasters connected with me and I connected with Toastmasters,” she writes. “How can you foster a connection like this with prospective members? What ways can you make them feel welcome? How can you tell them the story they need to hear about how you can help them solve their problem?”

Read more about Kaiser’s Toastmasters experience in her guest blog over at Greenfield Services.

A Second Try at Transparency

If you don’t follow the ins and outs of the tech world, you missed an interesting human resources crisis at the popular programming startup GitHub. A high-profile female employee, Julie Ann Horvath, left under controversial circumstances; she later spoke to the press, alleging mistreatment by the company’s CEO and his wife. An internal investigation followed, and findings were reported last week. The CEO, Tom Preston-Werner, left the company, but Horvath felt that the investigation (as well as the reporting of the results) was anything but transparent.

On Monday, GitHub’s new CEO, Chris Wanstrath, tried again, with a first line that said it all, really: “Last Monday I published the least open and least transparent blog post GitHub has ever written.”

The in-depth assessment appeared to substantiate the most serious of Horvath’s claims, though not all of them. (Horvath still takes issue with the objectiveness of the probe, though she tweeted she was “pretty satisfied” Wanstrath’s newest statement.) But the situation highlighted the fact that GitHub did not have a strong human resources backbone, something Wanstrath emphasized in his note: “Our rapid growth left the leadership team, myself included, woefully unprepared to properly handle these types of situations.”

TechCrunch has a breakdown.

Other good reads

Want to remember those notes you’re taking a little longer? Pull out the pen and paper and skip the keyboard, according to a new study published in the Association for Psychological Science journal Psychological Science.

The National Fluid Power Association’s Eric Lanke is finding events his association wasn’t invited to be part of to be the most appealing these days.

Don’t waste that wait time in the airport. Follow these tips from Inc. contributor Paul Metselaar.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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