Explore the Wealth, Wit & Wisdom of Self-Storage Talk
Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.
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Posted on: 04/26/2013



 

Tony Jones***A guest installment by Tony Jones, Self-Storage Talk Community Manager

It’s hard to believe the Inside Self-Storage World Expo ended three weeks ago. One of the highlights for me during the show was getting to meet so many members of Self-Storage Talk (SST) in the flesh. This was my first ISS Expo as community manager of the industry’s largest online forum, so it was particularly rewarding to have so many members stop by the ISS booth to say hello. It’s always interesting to put faces with usernames and to see if members’ real-life personalities match their written word.

For the second consecutive year, our SST Membership Drive and prize giveaway coincided with the expo, and the results did not disappoint. I am very pleased to report that SST membership surged past our goal of 6,000 members, and just this week we reached another milestone of 7,000 threads. That’s 7,000 separate conversations on all things self-storage, which taken collectively, easily comprise one of the best archived and active knowledge bases in the industry.

If you’re not familiar with SST or are a longtime lurker, I strongly encourage you to check out the website’s diverse forums, from the roll-up-your-sleeves aspects of “Day-to-Day Management” and “General Storage Chat,” to the creativity of “Marketing” and the amusing nature of the ever-popular “Tales From the Trenches.” There is quite literally something for everyone, whether you’re a manager seeking advice on how to properly deal with a deceased tenant, researching how other operators are targeting an emerging storage customer base like home stagers, or are trying to figure out why your Google Places listings have suddenly vanished.

Conversations also are frequently triggered by industry news and events. A recent story covered by ISS that involved two boys apparently living inside a storage unit in New Jersey has elicited strong reactions from the SST community. Another recent story from the United Kingdom about a growing trend of people using storage units for sexual rendezvous also has raised some eyebrows among members.

The ISS team also frequently reaches out to SST members for input on industry trends and editorial projects we are working on for the magazine and website. We currently have several threads open seeking insight on issues related to facility safety and security. These range from crime deterrents and working with law enforcement to safety hazards and procedures. We are also still collecting input on “The 10 Worst Types of Self-Storage Customers” for a fun project coming up later in the year.

In many ways, SST serves as an ongoing, virtual mixer where self-storage managers, owners and vendors converge to network, seek advice, share knowledge and commiserate. It is a sounding board for those who want to be heard by their peers, and the wealth of information in our archives is an industry time capsule without rival.

Our new-membership prize giveaway may be over, but the real reward is in the site’s interaction between members. It may be a virtual community, but it is very organic in the way topics ebb and flow, and how members embrace and advise each other, all in relative anonymity. It’s really something to behold, but you can’t truly measure its value or impact unless you are a contributing member.

If you’re not currently registered with the site, what’s holding you back? We’d love to hear why you are hesitating. Otherwise, you can launch your free membership today by registering here. We look forward to having you join the conversation.