Stepping Down as CEO of Social Media Club

On May 1st, after I had a conversation with Chris Heuer, he wrote “Conversations take time, managing them takes energy.”

This is true in so many ways. In fact, Chris captured this critical fact:

“… we have had to expend so much energy in managing the Club to host conversations about Social Media, that we have little time to actually produce it or to be fully engaged in the conversations about it, even though it is all around [us] every day.”

This has been bothering me for weeks now. I enjoy blogging and writing about Web 2.0 and Social Media. I am listed as the CEO of Social Media Club, and expected by all to be blogging, podcasting, vlogging, talking with members, going to member meetings, and in general being out there with the people doing Social Media. The reality of a time-constrained startup life is that I can accomplish only a few things every day, and creating media has fallen to the bottom of the list .

When I signed up to manage the day-to-day affairs of Social Media Club, I intended to participate in the industry. I hoped to learn from great people in the communication arts, to synthesize and share my knowledge on a regular basis with the club and the public, and to help others make great connections. The day to day is very different. I’ve realized that running an association is not the same participating in the industry for which it serves.

For all of the technological advances of 2007, with video cameras built into laptop screens, and almost-always on wifi, geography is also a challenge. Chris is in San Francisco, and I’m in New York, and working together across miles and time zones takes a huge amount of energy and has proven a logistical challenge. While we both love working with each other, we have very different working styles.

We have mutually decided that I will step back and Chris as majority owner(and rightfully so, considering his investment of time and capital) will run Social Media Club (he’ll discuss how he will do that in his post). I will continue to work on the New York chapter along with some other volunteers. I also will continue to vocally and blatantly cheerlead for Social Media Club. I will participate in the local-leader and co-founder calls and wikis. I look forward to teaching what I know at the upcoming Social Media Workshops. Chris and I will continue some small consulting projects we have started, or which have come looking for us. I will also be consulting on my own, helping companies understand Social Media especially where it meets customer evangelism. I’ll also continue providing personal and executive coaching services, especially with entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

I think Social Media as an industry has a very large growth path, and I want to help companies who are part of the industry. I also believe that Social Media Club will play a large role in that growth, connecting companies and resources, establishing standards and educating participants. These are all exciting challenges and I look forward to the success that Chris and Social Media Club will have in taking them on.

My future, as Obi Wan Kenobi once said, lies on a different path.


One response to “Stepping Down as CEO of Social Media Club”

  1. Howard, this is elegantly put and shows your characteristic care, industry understanding, and style. I look forward to working with you in the Social Media sphere going forward.