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Top 12 Blogs of 2012

Gold medal in social media
I thought I would start to wrap up the year with my favorite blogs of 2012.  These bloggers engage the association community, inform, and suggest new ways for association executives to take a look at their current processes.  They offer tips and best practices on changing the landscape of associations for the future:

  1. Sarah Sladek’s blog “5 steps for continued association growth in a changing market”:  Passionate about changing demographics, Sarah blogs about what is affecting the association world in general.  This blog walks you through focusing on goals, and the steps to achieve the same status associations had with Baby Boomers as the primary membership base.
  2. I came across this blog by accident one day a few weeks ago, and love it!  Andrea Pellegrino’s “Engagement, Value, and Blaming the Member” post does not beat around the bush – it speaks directly to those who believe Engagement is the fix-all solution.  “Engagement does not drive value, value drives engagement.”  Demonstrating value to your members through various outreach and programs is the key to engaging your membership.
  3. Another blog I came across by accident, Shelly Alcorn, CAE blogged “Is Your Mission Bigger than What You Can Measure?” – which drives home the point that statistics, or “quantitative” metrics can only be used to a certain point in most organizations.  She believes that “qualitative” metrics need to be looked at more often.
  4. Jeff Hurt posted a two-part blog, focusing on learning styles & education opportunities – Part 1 focused on Learning from 1957-2004, and Part 2 focused on learning 2004-present day and the future.  Two key questions came out of this series that I believe are very important to take a look at:  what barriers exist that keep your education/learning opportunities from transitioning to newer models? And, how can organizations transition to being more learning-centric? 
  5. Jay S. Daughtry posted “The Greatest of Great Ideas in Less than 180 Seconds”.  Jay uses these 180 seconds of reading to showcase the top ideas, thoughts and feedback from the conferences he attends – this one being the ASAE Great Ideas Conference.
  6. Yes, I am repeating a few bloggers, but their content is worth it!  Sarah Sladek posted asking the question “Is your association’s culture helping or hurting member recruitment and retention?”, which addresses some red flags to look out for.
  7. Jamie Notter posted “Strategy Means Change” – when you are strategizing, prepare for change.  Need I say more?
  8. How could I have a top 12 list without including one of my own?!  I looked at the number of readers on each of my posts this year, and by far the most popular was “The World Is Changing.  Are Associations Falling Behind?” which was created as a result of our 2012 Pulse Report on Membership Marketing in Canada.
  9. Bernie Colterman’s “Social Marketing and Sponsorship Marketing – Are they really that far apart?”  discusses some trends that were discovered while attending an International Conference.
  10. Jeff Hurt (another blog I follow religiously, as you can see) published a post relating to Generational Differences and Conference Planning.  What barriers do generational differences have on traditional conference planning, and what are you doing to change it?
  11. The Association Management Blog posted a great reminder about mid-year – it is a great time to check in and review your goals and operation to make sure you are on track.  If you see a disconnect, it may be time to Tune-up Your Association.
  12. Affiniscape’s Blog posted a guest post from Shelley Alcorn, CAE earlier this year – talking about the END of Associations.  END meaning Education, Networking and Democracy.  Shelley’s belief is associations did not lose their relevance, they have lost their way.  Great post!

Any other favorites that you did not see here?  Submit your feedback below.  Have a great holiday, and I look forward to an engaging 2013!