Recently in the great twittersphere there has been a lot of chatter on the value of a Web Analytics Association (WAA) membership. After thinking on it for a few days, I wanted to offer my my 2/5’s of nickel on why I joined the WAA and what value I have received as a result of joining.
Let me start with saying that I think true value of a membership in the WAA, or any user group like this, is dependent on what you are willing to put into it. Membership is not a passive experience. My personal goals in joining the WAA were:
As I become more and more immersed in the world of analytics, I am constantly looking for way to expand my knowledge. As part of this process I wanted to be able to participate in the WAA committees, forums, peer reviews, webcasts, etc.. Being able to join the committees and not only participate in the discussions, but to learn from the experiences of the other members of great value to me.
I love being able to interact with others that are passionate about web analytics. To share experiences, challenges, failures, and successes and to build relationships with others in the industry is great. It is true that this can be done without the WAA, but for me, it has opened up another set of people to interact with that I had not yet, or might not have the had the opportunities to.
The developer in me loves standards. Love, love, love, love… Standards. So the opportunity to be part of a group/committee that discusses and helps shape those standards is a very exciting offer. I am still getting my feet wet in this area, but I look forward to becoming more active in this area.
Based on these goals alone, I do feel that I get a great value for my membership in the WAA!
There are other great groups and projects out there, like the Analyis Exchange where you could accomplish these goals, but I do not feel that participation in one group should preclude you from participating in the other. I love talking about analytics with whomever will listen and through these conversations, this engagement, and healthy debate on ideas true innovation happens. There is something great about taking an idea and throwing it out for the world to see, comment on, and mold into something new.