Founder’s Corner #14: Community Matters

By Max Thomas

Community matters. With the reach of social media and the Internet in general, we are connected to places, people and ideas that are around the corner, and across the globe. Yes, it’s a bit cliche but it’s generally agreed that community matters more now than it has in a long time (Google’s Knowledge Graph helps confirm this). At Thunder, community matters so much that we made it one of our core values. Furthermore, we believe in the power of building and participating in communities.

In this month’s Founder’s Corner, we share examples of how we build community at Thunder, support community in San Diego and contribute to the larger community of interactive marketing. Hope this sparks some community building inspiration!


Max Thomas: The word of the day is community.

Monique Pouget: Community.

Beth Demmon: Community.

Michael Ward: Community.

Shawn Massie: Community.

Lindsay Mineo: Community.

Max Thomas: Welcome to this month’s Founder’s Corner. I’m Max Thomas, and this month we’re going to talk about community and what that means for Thunder.

So, what is community? Well, it turns out it’s a big word. So big, in fact, that thanks to Google Knowledge Graph, we have two answers to look at. One: a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. Two: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Okay. That’s a little dry, but I think these speak to our desire to connect to each other.

So, why all this talk about community? For Thunder, we believe community is such a big deal that we made it one of our core values. At Thunder, we define community as: “We believe in sharing knowledge, opinions, and experiences as a team and throughout our industry to support the growth of interactive marketing.”

So, how do we share and build community with the people, places, and industry that we’re connected to? Following are some examples, starting with our most immediate community.

Thunder team members. We all know a lot. But how do we share what we know with each other? So we can help each other know more and also build a strong team, we encourage sharing internally. Check this out.

Lindsay Mineo: Google+ Thoughts From the Thunder Dome. This is our private Google+ community, where we share and comment on updates, events, articles, and anything else that we want to share with the community.

Shawn Massie: Lunch-and-learns. Every two weeks, someone from Thunder conducts an amazing workshop on a hot topic and presents it to the office. Thunder picks up the tab. So we all get to lunch and learn. Get it?

Ashley Ward: Sharing conference wrap-ups with fellow team members. Every time a Thunder Cat goes to a conference or speaks at an event, they come back and write a blog post filled with all the juicy tidbits and memories.

Christin Bailey: Connect with each other via Thunder’s social profiles. All work and no play makes us really dull. So we like to share the fun and good times on Thunder’s social profiles also.

Max Thomas: San Diego. The San Diego interactive marketing community is definitely important to us. We love our community here, and we want to do whatever we can to help keep it strong and growing. So, how do we do that?

Michael Ward: Sponsoring and attending local meet-ups. Thunder helps sponsor local meet-ups by buying tickets for every Thunder Cat who wants to attend. These meet-ups help encourage learning and growth among our team.

Frank Quattrocchi: We also love presenting at local meet-ups to help spread the love of what we’ve learned and learn from others.

Kelly Kauffman: Promoting local meet-ups and events. We use our social profiles to help promote local meet-ups and events wherever we can.

Max Thomas: The interactive marketing community. Okay, it’s a mouthful, but that’s our industry’s community. We believe strongly in interactive marketing, and we want to support our fellow marketers as well as the integrity of the community and the industry as a whole. Here’s how we do our part.

Bree Tervort: Thunder’s blog. Probably our largest contribution, we create and share content weekly that includes campaign- specific information along with big changes as they happen.

Christin Bailey: Speaking at industry conferences. Thunder Cats have spoken at SMXs, Pubcons, and lots of other industry conferences. Not only does it help our presence as a company, we also value contributing to the interactive marketing community as a whole.

Georgia Hitchcock: Attending and promoting industry conferences. Along with speaking at conferences on a regular basis, we also attend as paying participants and help to promote them via social media. We believe this helps boost awareness for the conferences and the events that we think further the authenticity and value of interactive marketing, both as an industry and as a discipline.

Monique Pouget: Promoting updates and accomplishments from other interactive marketers. At Thunder, we believe that sharing great work is just as important as doing great work, and we believe that the best work has to be seen and heard. So, whether we share posts from inspiring blogs and agencies, things that make us look at our work in a new way, or something that just teaches us something totally new, we love sharing different things with our community.

Max Thomas: All right. I hope you’re inspired to make community part of your work and life. If you have examples that you want to share, comment or tweet @ThunderSEO. Thanks for tuning in. See you at next month’s Founder’s Corner.
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Max Thomas

By Max Thomas

Max is a nationally recognized digital marketing specialist who is an expert on search engine optimization and data-driven digital marketing who has spoken at SMX and SMX Advanced, LMA Southeast, LMA Tech in San Francisco, WordCamp and other industry recognized conferences. As the founder and CEO of ThunderActive, Max has lead his team (with offices in San Diego and New York City) to success for clients in legal, real estate, life sciences, consumer goods and new tech. A Columbia undergraduate with a Yale MBA, Max is an Impact Circle Member for The Trevor Project and is an advisor to start-up companies and angel investment networks, including Gaingels and Serval Ventures in New York.

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