The Power of 4,000: Self-Storage Talk Community Provides Massive Outlet
As an avid bicyclist, I spent last Friday participating in the Chicago installment of Critical Mass, a worldwide bicycling organization that conducts monthly rides of, shall we say, civil disobedience. Thousands of cyclists poured into Daley Plaza in the center of town before leaving on a coordinated ride through the Chicago streets, often gumming up car traffic at intersections. The goal is to show motorists that cyclists are entitled to the streets in the same way cars are, to display an alternative to driving and to share how much fun bicycling is. Here's a viral video from a ride a few years ago:
As I was riding, I had the chance to make several new friends, discuss local issues, share tips about biking, and enjoy the fresh air on a summer evening. I also got to ride around the entire city, getting a a unique tour of neighborhoods. When we were finished riding, I asked one of the group's organizers to estimate how many riders participated: "a little more than 4,000." Coincidenally, that's about the same number of people who belong to Self-Storage Talk, the largest online forum in the industry.
Like Critical Mass, SST is also a community, only instead of the issue being biking, it's self-storage. But many of the same benefits exists: meeting new friends, chatting about shared interests, and perhaps even unifying toward a common mission. The mission of SST is to contribute to the industry's strength and vitality by encouraging knowledge-sharing. For example, if your facilities are struggling with sales and marketing, visiting SST might allow you to glean some ideas or ask for help. Similarly, it can be just as rewarding to help out an industry peer. SST devotees are fiercely loyal to the site and often share how much they value it as a resouce.
If you're not familiar with SST, I encourage you to check it out and register a username for free here: www.selfstoragetalk.com/register.php. But unlike Critical Mass, SST is live all of the time, not just on the last Friday of the month. If you're already part of the more than 4,000 members but haven't been participating much, give it another chance. The site has grown into a vibrant forum with many great, knowledgable, respectful posters.
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