This week we reached a major milestone on ClausNet.com. On October 21, 2010 we welcomed our 1,000th member to our community. Now you may not think this is such a big deal, but consider the fact that unlike other online communities, I personally approve each and every request to become a registered member.
When I launched ClausNet.com, I had just returned from my first time attending theCharles W. Howard Santa Claus School, in Midland Michigan. As a first time student to the school, I was struck be the comrade and the overwhelming feeling of being part of this community. I so much enjoyed my time at the school, that I felt I needed to give something back. So as a Christmas gift to the Dean and his wife, I created a new website that year for the school.
But just building a new website for the school didn't seem quite enough for some reason. I wanted to give back even more. So I started researching how I could build an virtual community online, that would replicate in some way the fellowship that had I felt at while the school. At the time there were a few Yahoo and MSN group "Santa" sites where fellow Kringles could exchange emails. These sites were essentially bulk email mailing lists and I realized early on that threaded mass emails with attachments was not the way to go.
A big part of the CWH school is meeting others and learning from them; exchanging ideas, and improving your Santa Claus persona. I knew early on that ClausNet would have to be much more than these group sites. It had to be a "destination"; a place that you wanted to check in often; a place where you could "meet" and discuss ideas. It had to be a community.
In my career as a marketeer, I have created and managed several customer focused user groups, online forums, company blogs, and social media sites. All of these things have something in common -- people with a common interest -- and THAT is what ClausNet is -- a community of men and women dedicated to the faithful the portrayal of the legend of Santa Claus and who devote their time to bringing joy to children of all ages.
Thank you all for being part of this experience!