If you're a grassroots organization focused on working toward social change, here's how to grow your community: Once somebody has self-identified as ideologically aligned with your purposes, do what you can to show them that you're interested in getting and keeping them involved. That's what Eric Steuer, the Creative Director of Creative Commons, did in response to an email I submitted to him through the site.
My email suggested he build on his series of "we like to share" posts at Good Magazine to include a post about sharing in academia, and I linked him to my own recent post about this very issue. Okay, okay, AND I suggested he interview me for the sharing in academia piece.
He responded within hours with this:
Glad you're enjoying the interview series. Actually, all of the interviews were done last December, even though they're just going online now. We're not planning to do any more in the short term, but after these 15 go up, it's possible we'll end up doing more. If that's the case, I'll likely reach out to you about the project you're working on and see if there's something we can do.
I see from a previous blog post of yours that you feel like you don't fully understand Creative Commons. If you have particular questions about what we do and how our tools work, let me know and I will answer them as best I can.
Hope you're well,
If you're me and you receive the above email from somebody as fascinating as Eric Steuer, you're at least twice as likely to try again with Creative Commons. Almost immediately after receiving this email, I went to the creative commons site and started poking around. I left a comment on a blogpost about a recent court case involving J.D. Salinger and copyright law, clicked on a feature piece about Wikipedia's official adoption of a Creative Commons license for its content, and then I headed over to my blog to write about how energized I am about the prospect of digging in to the Creative Commons movement. I am, after all, now a valued potential member of the CC community.
Well played, Creative Commons. You win this round.