This is what I wrote on a co-post with Chris Nordyke on WeLoveCorvallis.com
I am not a member of a local chamber of commerce.Â I do see the worth of new contacts and networking opportunities that my local chamber might offer me though.Â I do think the chamber’s goals in helping business and community are essential.Â My whole business is built around connecting with others and helping businesses connect with their communities.Â So how do I see the mission of the chamber being fulfilled?Â Well it is happening outside the chamber’s control.Â The Communities they serve are going beyond what a program heavy chamber does.Â Things have changed.Â With social networking and the explosion of tools for our community to connect and engage we now are seeing spontaneous, organic community involvement like we have not seen in over 200 hundred years.
I witness every day something remarkable.Â Business friends and community members see a need or opportunity and take it upon themselves to initiate change.Â It did not take a new committee or a board’s approval.Â Usually it only takes a quick phone call (usually now a direct message via twitter or facebook), a bit of collaboration and creativity, and the new thing is born.Â This past week I looked over the organizational chart of our local chamber.Â As I scanned it I instinctively began crossing off duties deemed the responsibility of a chamber staff.Â These services were in many ways already being offered via the community. Many others could easily be handled by individuals or groups that are passionate about a service.Â If the chamber allowed many of these services to grow organically (which I would argue that they are regardless of the chambers permission) then they could ease the burden of the member dues as well as give the staff time and resources to fulfill their mission better.Â Will I become a chamber member?Â I guess it depends on what changes the chamber is willing to make.Â Only time will tell.
Like I said before.Â I am writing this from an outsiders mindset. I would encourage you to convince me either way.