5 Reasons why you should join the Articulate Community if you are in eLearning

 

Since leaving Adobe, I have been expanding my horizons by exploring other eLearning tools, especially as I begin posting reviews of various Rapid eLearning tools here on my Blog.

One company I have been in touch with and extremely impressed with is Articulate, the makers of Presenter and Engage and the whole Articulate Studio product.

One thing I always ask when talking to a vendor is what is the Killer App in your product, that one special thing that you lead with in your presentations, press releases and the reason why most of your customer buy the product and keep coming back for more. As a Former Adobe Evangelist, I have always been surprised how few people asked me this question, especially during press briefings. I happen to thing this is a critical one.

I have been reviewing Articulate products and looking for that killer feature that stands out and while there are many, which I will blog about soon, it hit me, it’s not a feature really, it’s the fact that they have the most ‘engaged’ Social community in the Industry. That’s the killer app I realized.

I’m fully convinced that in today’s consumer-driven economy we live in, the companies with the best social communities will win. Companies that are able to convert passive users into superfans win today.

Social Media tools like Blogs, Forums, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and others are the great equalizers, which level the playing field between companies of any size.

Articulate as a company is a well-oiled machine that appears to be on the same page on all levels, from the aesthetically-pleasing User Interfaces they design to their engaging social communities, all the way to the support they offer. Trust me, if all the parts are not in sync, it’s tough to delight your customers.

People asked me what was the most frustrating thing for me working at Adobe and with no hesitation I always say that the Support and Customer care Adobe provided (provides), was so poor that it negated all the great things we all did as Evangelists.

So here’s the list of at least 5 reasons why I believe you should join the Articulate Community even if you don’t use their products, or are even in eLearning.

 

  1. You will be inspired with ideas you can apply into your own eLearning. If you are an eLearning professional and are looking for a little inspiration, look no further than the Articulate community. Tom Kuhlmann, VP of Community, sends out this awesome weekly newsletter full of design ideas and other tips and tricks. For a preview, you can see the tweet below:
  1. You can apply the concepts into your own Rapid eLearning tool. As I said above, even if you don’t use Articulate tools, you can still learn so much by joining their community and then apply what you learn into your own tool of choice, for example Adobe Captivate or Camtasia.
  2. Articulate is a great case study of building engaging communities. Let’s say you are not even in eLearning, I still believe you should join. Why? Because it doesn’t matter what you do, Articulate is an excellent case study for how to build engaging communities and you can learn how they do it and then go and apply that to your own communities.
  3. You get a great resource for new eLearning professionals when you join. eLearning is an exciting field and there are many newcomers every day, who are looking to get off to a great start. When I registered I received a nicely written eBook entitled “The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro,” and it’s really a good read.
  4. I have seen the future of eLearning apps and it looks bright. I can’t say much about their future projects for NDA reasons, but I can tell you that I’m very impressed with what I have been able to see from Articulate. I believe one reason why these guys are sharp is because eLearning is all they do, that’s their focus, their passion, that’s all they think about and the one who benefits from this passion is the eLearning community. By joining the community, you will not only benefit from this passion but you will also stay current.

So there you go, this post is all from my past experience as an Adobe Evangelist and based on what I have observed and experienced first hand.

Here’s the main page for Articulate’s E-Learning Community where you can join the conversation:
http://community.articulate.com/

Let me know what you think and incidentally, tomorrow I’m interviewing Tom Kuhlmann about many of these things and will post the video interview early next week.

,,,

 

  • Thanks for the great post, RJ! I especially like #3 in that what we’ve done can be a model for other companies, regardless of industry. As a long-time Articulate employee (nearly 8 years), I’ve had the unique experience of helping to foster the growth of our community, and watching our passionate customers turn it into what it’s become today. 

    I focus primarily on sales and account management these days, and you’re right that pointing to our support and user community are big selling points that really differentiate Articulate from our competitors. 

    • Anonymous

      You are most welcome, Gabe. My favorite was #3 too and I think everyone can learn so much from the awesome work you guys are doing. In a world where most consumers are purchasing new products based on peer recommendations, having a solid support system and a strong community ecosystem is everything. Keep up the good work and Happy New Year!

      • Well said, and thanks! Happy New Year to you as well!

  • Sarah Wagner

    Funny you should write this. Just yesterday I was telling a colleague how valuable the Articulate community has been to my career growth. It’s rare to find a company that actually seems to care about making their customers successful but that’s exactly the feeling I get from Articulate. I’ve learned a ton from Tom and his team in particular. Lately, I’ve starting “sharing back” to the community with some tips I’ve found successful. 

    • Anonymous

      Hi Sarah, thanks for the comment and I agree with you in that more companies should really strive to make their customers success. Most community-building tools are free so there are no excuses. Let me know if you are on Twitter or elsewhere and I’ll follow you as you share.

  • Tmason

    I agree with you completely. It’s refreshing to see a software company actually do it right. Articulate consistently demonstrates that they take customer support seriously. The community is such an important piece of that.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you and think community is everything these days, without a strong ecosystem around a product, companies will struggle to stay relevant. It’s the killer app in my opinion. Thanks for reading the post and I’m glad to hear it resonated well with you.

  • JRA

    Tom Kuhlmann is in my opinion the leading and best elearning product evangelist. He has shown he is open to helping non-Articulate users adapt his ideas and tools as well. Other companies could model what he and his co-workers are doing. Flip side of the coin, I’ve often looked at Articulate users the way people look at Mac Users… a little cultish and arrogant.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the reply and I’m with you 100% on your comments regarding Tom. I also hope other companies will use the Articulate community as a case study and learn how it needs to be done. Thanks again and Happy New Year.

  • I LOVE Articulate and have for years now!!!  Their customer support was and still is the best I have EVER experienced – Storyline (coming soon) will knock your socks off and when you see what it does you will ask yourself twice, perhaps three or even four + times whether or not you truly need Adobe Captivate.  Really enjoyed your posting RJ; all the best for you going forward now that you are “free” 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jason, thank you for your comment, Jason. I just started thoroughly testing all the Articulate products and I’m quickly becoming a big fan. I had a chance to get a 1:1 preview of Storyline and everything people have said it’s true, it’s amazing. As you know I have been with Captivate since it was RoboDemo and later Captivate under Macromedia and now Adobe and I truly believe Storyline is a game-changer, so my old colleagues have some tough battles ahead of them, especially with the stellar community Articulate has and the unmatched support they give their customers. I’m glad I’m now free to report objectively and be part of the exciting future. I’m very excited. Thanks again!

  • Articulate truly does a great job in both leading the conversation through their blogs and participation in social media and by providing a venue (the forums) where these excellent professional conversations can occur in a moderated way. 

    • RJ Jacquez

      I agree with you and I think they are great ‘facilitators’ of great discussions. Sometimes Brands don’t have to do all the talking or even the Helping, but they do have to build platforms that facilitate the interactions between their customers, and that’s what Articulate does so well in my experience. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you and I think they are great ‘facilitators’ of great discussions. Sometimes Brands don’t have to do all the talking or even the Helping, but they do have to build platforms that facilitate the interactions between their customers, and that’s what Articulate does so well in my experience. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment.

  • Hey RJ – here’s a cool discussion thread that’s a great follow up to this post.

    http://community.articulate.com/forums/p/8758/50824.aspx

    • Anonymous

      Hi Adam, very cool. I just read what others are saying and it appears I’m not the only one impressed with how well Articulate treats their customers. I hope other companies take note and try to follow the same principals.

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