Community Conversation About Community Building

January 2023 CollabTalk TweetJam on The Science Behind Building CommunityIn the post-pandemic world, many events and user groups and other community activities are slowly getting back up to speed. While virtual and hybrid activities will remain, it’s no surprise that many people are anxious to attend in-person events once again — in addition to their regular consumption of online activities. As I’m sure all of this month’s tweetjam participants will attest, community can play an important part of personal and career development. But what is the role of the individual when building a community? What traits make a community successful? Whether meeting weekly for lunch with peers at your company who have similar roles, or organizing an annual technology event with speakers and attendees from around the world, are there consistent tools and practices that help build community?

In the next #CollabTalk TweetJam taking place on Thursday, January 26th at 9am PDT (UTC -8), the community will once again join forces and have a focused discussion on the topic of the new Communities in Teams release and “The Science Behind Building Community” and share our thoughts and experiences on building healthy and highly engaged communities. In this 1-hour Twitter-based panel discussion, we’ll bring together MVPs and Regional Directors, community experts, partners, consultants, and practitioners to share their perspectives on this important topic.

Anyone can join this community discussion using Twitter and the #CollabTalk hashtag or your favorite Twitter platform. You don’t even need to be an “expert” to participate in the online conversation. Anyone can ask questions, comment on the questions posed, or just “lurk” in the background. These online discussions are open to anyone — you do not have to be on the panel to participate.

This month’s tweetjam is being sponsored by Comms vNext (event happening April 25+26 in Denver) and, as always, our friends at tyGraph. Thanks for your support!

If you have never participated in one of these tweetjams, it’s pretty simple: anyone can jump in and share their thoughts, or just lurk in the wings and absorb the wisdom of the crowd. Either way, it’ll be a TON of content to consume in a single hour. You can follow the live session using the Twitter UI of your choice (, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, whatever). How it works is that I’ll post a series of questions every few minutes, and people will respond to Q1, Q2, Q3 and so forth with A1, A2, A3, always including the #CollabTalk hashtag with their answers. Feel free to reply as often (or as little) as you’d like, ask your own follow-up questions, share relevant links, re-tweet others, and engage with the audience.

The questions we will discuss during the session include:

  1. How has involvement in the community impacted you personally and professionally?
  2. What are the key components of building a successful community, and why?
  3. How important is it to have a shared purpose within a community, and how often should you review, assess, and potentially redirect community purpose?
  4. What are your best practices for developing a sense of belonging within a community, whether for yourself or for others?
  5. With many communities still struggling in the post-pandemic world, what would you say that a community requires to be resilient long-term?
  6. How will the new Communities for Teams features fit into your personal or user group community development efforts?
  7. When adding people to Communities in Teams who are new to Microsoft Teams, what should you do to encourage adoption and engagement?

Of course, there will be many side questions, side conversations, and wise-cracking shenanigans. This is open to the public, so please join in the discussion! The dialog is always thought-provoking and fun.

Participating on this panel (so far):

  • Kevin McDonnell (@kevmcdonk), M365 Apps & Services MVP and group manager, modern workplace at Avanade
  • Wes Preston (@idubbs), SharePoint MVP, evangelist,  and owner at TrecStone
  • Adam Ball (@AdamCBall), co-founder of COUCUG, Teams and Skype for Business MVP
  • Phil Worrell (@worrelpa), ICT engineer and business analyst at Swisscom
  • Alistair Pugin (@alistairpugin), (dual) Azure and Office Apps & Services MVP and chief technology officer at NBConsult
  • Shari Oswald (@shortcutshari), co-founder and productivity evangelist at PowerUP! Learning
  • Tobiasz Koprowski (@KoprowskiT), Data Platform MVP, founder and consultant at Shadowland Consulting
  • Suzanne George (@spgenie), Microsoft Regional Director, MCTS, and partner – modern workplace & experience leader at PwC
  • Matt Varney (@thevarnish), intranet manager at KCTCS
  • Mike Nelson (@mikenelsonIO), Datacenter Management MVP and solution architect at Pure Storage
  • Ben Stegink (@benstegink), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure consultant, owner of Intelligink, LLC
  • Simon Denton (@buildbod), M365 Apps & Services MVP, visiting professor at Birmingham City University, and business architect at Mott MacDonald
  • John White (@diverdown1964), dual SharePoint and Data Platform MVP, cto at tyGraph, an AvePoint company
  • Ryan Schouten (@ShrPntKnight) Office Apps & Services MVP, MCT, and senior technical consultant at Xilio
  • Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), SharePoint MVP, co-founder and president of Sympraxis Consulting
  • Paul Keijzers (@KbWorks), a Microsoft Teams and Office 365 specialist, and the founder of  KbWorks
  • Ragnar Heil (@ragnarh), Office Servers & Services MVP and Microsoft alliance manager EMEA for Metalogix
  • Robert Hedblom (@RobertandDPM), Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, cloud and solution principal architect at sumNERV AB
  • Mike Fitzmaurice (@mikefitz), vp of north america and chief evangelist for WEBCON
  • Fabian Williams (@fabianwilliams), former MVP, senior program manager on the Microsoft Graph team
  • David Patrick (@DavidEPatrick),  M365 Apps & Services MVP, user group organizer, subject-matter expert with DSA, Inc.
  • and your host, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), Microsoft MVP & RD and #CollabTalk founder

If you would like to be included on one of these panels, please drop me a line via emailLinkedIn, or Twitter. And thank you again to tyGraph for your support of these CollabTalk tweetjams! And finally, if you are interested in being a sponsor of a future tweetjam, please contact me.

We’ll be back on February 23rd for the next CollabTalk TweetJam where we’ll be focusing on the topic of “ChatGPT and the Future of Productivity” so be sure to follow me (@buckleyplanet) for news and updates.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.