|The Inside Scoop|
Self-Storage Talk Breaks 5,000-Member Mark This Week
Sometime this week, Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online community, will register its 5,000th member. Any number ending in an even "thousand" is a milestone, but this one has special significance. If there are any questions about the legitimacy about a 24/7 Internet discussion forum about self-storage, 5,000 members is a resounding response.
When I started as SST's community manager a little more than three years ago, SST had fewer than 2,000 active members. Through 2009, the site saw slow growth, but to be honest, even some of the site's biggest champions and original members weren't sure it was going to fully catch on. Even Inside Self-Storage and VIRGO, the parent brands of the site, had to wonder if their investments of time and resources in the online forum would pay off. By the end of that year, though, things started to change. As 2009 ended and 2010 began, SST saw a rapid spike in Web traffic and new-member registrations. Previously, 50 new members a month was cause for me to jump on top of my desk and dance. Suddenly, only 100 new members a month was slow. Some of our most valuable contributors joined during this time. Slowly, between mid-2010 and mid-2011, our moderator team expanded, and the regular positive feedback started to roll in: "SST is such a great resource! I don't know what I'd do without it!" "It's so much fun to chat every day with people who do what I do." "I get so many great ideas." From that point on, frankly, the job has gotten easier. I've been spoiled by a hard-working moderator team and a contingent of posters who are generally respectful, smart and fun. We all must be doing something right because 5,000 members is no accident. I must give a big thank you to everyone who has spread the word about SST and contributed, from those who joined at the site's beginning to those who just started posting last week.
To celebrate everyone's effort and achievement, SST is planning a "Cyber Cinco" celebration on Friday, May 4 at 5 p.m. ET. Because "5" is the key number in 5,000, what better day and time to celebrate the milestone than Cinco de Mayo? (We're observing a day early, as the holiday falls on a Saturday.) At this time, all SST members, from long-time posters to first-time newbies, are encouraged to start their weekends by logging in and having a virtual beverage with the 5,000-plus-member community. A special "fiesta" thread will be set up for people to introduce themselves and "mingle" online.
It's going to be a great time, but the only way to participate is to belong to the site. If you're not a member yet, head over to www.selfstoragetalk.com, take a look around and then click on "register." It's free, and you'll need a username to post and join in the fun. If you join this week, who knows? You might have the historic honor of putting us over the top.