The trouble with Mind Maps...grey hair!
Hallo from Amsterdam !
Nothing better sums up the glamour of a Community Manager's life than sitting in a cool co-working space, overlooking one of the many beautiful canals which define this cultural and awesome city, with a (free!) Heineken beer in hand, reflecting on how great the Dutch are and how my job rocks!
Now don't get me wrong, I know I love Paris, but Amsterdam has to be one of my top European Cities, so when Liam suggested I go and kick off the first Amsterdam Meetup chapter, well, I couldn't refuse!
Our first Biggerplate Mind Mapping Meetup started with a bang! It was a marvellous Meetup, with some old and new faces of our Dutch community, who were inspiring and insightful and really helped in knowing how Biggerplate can shape the Amsterdam Mind Map strategy.
About our Meetups
The purpose of our Meetup events are to provide networking and knowledge sharing opportunity for mind mappers around the world. We want to get to a point where these events can be community-driven thanks to a team of Biggerplate Ambassadors.. watch this space! :-)
Thanks to the informal presentations and discussions, there was practical learning and useful member feedback and insight from our Dutch members.
We have always had a strong community from the Netherlands, as well as regular website traffic: The Netherlands are among the top ten countries from where we receive the most traffic.
The Netherlands was the location for our Biggerplate Unplugged conference (Utrecht 2013), and last year we hosted a fully attended Brunch club and free mind mapping workshop in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, these events were before my time as Community Manager, but I was delighted to have attended our first Meetup this time in Amsterdam!
"Keep up the good work, Biggerplate!"
We heard from active member Kaj Kruit, who shared his mind map uses and ideas with us. In his words, he has created over 5000 mind maps in his life- pretty impressive, huh?!
He showed us how he is using mind maps during his current job search, too, suggesting that more employers and business should be using mind maps to advertise their job descriptions, and how more candidates should be presenting their research of the company using mind maps.
It takes effort to be lazy...
One thing Kaj did mention (disclaimer, his words and not mine!) was that the Dutch are lazy and want a lot for free, without having to do much work for it... It is a good job we can offer plenty of free mind mapping content, then, isn't it?! Kaj drew on the belief that mind maps can help us to work hard, work smart and work easy... while still letting us be 'lazy...!
One of the great things about Meetup means that we can share learning and ideas for the Mind Mapping community for free (the only effort required, of course, would just to show up at the event..!), so hopefully our Meetups will encourage and grow these so called lazy Dutch!
Another element the participants agreed on is that mind mapping is a great solution to finding your own place in the 'Bigger' picture ( or as we like to say, 'plate' :-p). We had long-time users, as well as new users and hand-drawers, but all of them contributed to the discussion and were very supportive of the work Biggerplate is doing. Thanks, guys!
So you are probably wondering, what's with the weird title of this blog? Well these are not my words! Member Ton Meeuwissen sat down and one of the first things he said to me was "The trouble with mind mapping, is this" and pointed at his (minimal) grey hair...!
Sure enough, not only was I the only female present, I was the only person at the table with hair which was anything but grey... (Well, until Jamie arrived, then we were two blondes!).
Does this mean that mind mapping is tiring, or that the only people using and benefiting from mind mapping software are the 'older' generation?
All jokes aside, it is an interesting point which links back to the results from our annual survey regarding the age range of our participants:
That is not to say that 50-59 year olds are grey but...is there something to be said about the age of mind mapping, and the country? The job and age range from our Amsterdam Meetup shows people in senior roles, and in businesses of various sizes; supporting our view that mind maps are an essential management tool for the modern era.
Thanks to our engaged Community and our successful Community events over the year, we have been able to engage and learn from our ever increasing members than ever before. Thank you for your support and for the learning you provide Biggerplate.
If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't get to travel around Europe eating pancakes.
On that note, the maple syrup calls...