I’m headed to joining Google Top Contributor Summit in Dublin on the 25th October for the first time and the excitement of this event makes me feel different. I’ve been spending my last year together with extraordinary people online, interacting daily in team collaboration with fellow Top Contributors in the global official Google Help Community with over 1 mln members. I am a Google Top Contributor from Bulgaria, Eastern European Country.
Google Top Contributor Volunteering and Values
There is one single way to be part of Google Top Contributor program on a product as extraordinary as Google Plus, which is my expertise. This single way is to volunteer in discovering, be proactive and affirm friendly human experience on the platform on an ongoing basis by helping users with the best answers to their questions.
Being a Top Contributor I have a strong understanding that nationalities, occupations, institutions, religions, we are all interconnected and each has their own responsibility to the whole platform. The answers I give are equally valid to any user on the platform internationally. In times of issues with security and fake content, the volunteering to preserve a culture of involvement and inclusion is critical.
On G+TC program I met people who transform the online experience and create a user-friendly digital environment on G+ platform.
TC-s are known for what they contribute: it’s added value for the time they save to users, the savvy answers that are routed in many interdisciplinary practices, the friendly approach.
The fellow top contributors I got to know a little, are extraordinary people. In their minute to minute support on G+ Help Community, they remain neutral, following Google’s Terms & Policy regulations on the platform and giving generously 100% from their personal knowledge and experience, not just on G+, but from all other Google tools and products and offline professional knowledge.
Here is what a user wrote about Top Contributors in Google Plus help Forum:
“The moderators and crew of this community provide an invaluable service for all. Day or night, they offer the best they have to improve our day and night.
I wish to express my gratitude for their selfless contributions. It is extremely difficult to be a moderator and effect a positive impact on such an enormous community.
I tip my hat in respect and appreciation to these individuals who serve anyone and everyone who asks.
I have learned about Google Plus here. But most importantly, I have learned about community dynamics that reach far beyond this community. I learned that I have, we have so many friends and acquaintances here.
This is made possible through effective leadership and setting examples by these same Moderators.
I hope you have also learned to the community of global friends as an amazing and wonderful side-effect of interactions here.”
I’m passionate about education, digital skills practice and creativity as The way to go into the new merged reality. My interest is specifically in transforming the digital divide in favour of innovation and open voluntary standard. The innovation and connectivity are challenged from fragmentation on the Internet.
“Open and voluntary standards have long been at the core of the Internet’s success. They will, however, be challenged in the future by the speed of Internet innovation, the complexity of the emerging infrastructure and services, and the emergence of proprietary systems and walled gardens. Standards development processes are also under increasing threat from companies that can use their powerful market presence to create de facto standards, bypassing open standards processes and risking fragmentation.” Paths to our Digital Future, Internet Society’s Global Internet report 2017.
Joining Top Contributors Summit For The First Time
Am I stepping unknown territories? Definitely no. My country has been put on Top Contributors Program by Emil Dimitrov before me, who persisted with this highly demanding work for three years. I’ve been gladly welcomed by the savvy Top Contributors. I applied to TC program on 31st September and I succeeded to join Top Contributors team on 31st of January. It’s needless to mention the generosity and mentorship of experienced professionals involved with the process. You will not see those Mentors and extraordinary people on an advertising page since no one of them is involved in becoming famous. You can find them on Google Forums, giving their time in support of users, because that’s what the Top Contributor Program is about.
Google Plus Product
I’d like to add a few items about the specifics of interconnected activity on Google plus platform. By its nature, it’s experiential learning and many compare it to University for its innovative digitized interactions. What Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence evidence in recent articles and books, is already a vivid environment on Google Plus platform: space where Google digital tools and algorithm transform users thinking and behaviour by expanding their talents for the theme of interest.
My own talent is communication. I mirror the human character for the strength of one’s authentic self in its uniqueness and unity with the community altogether. It is a service to leadership in digital space as well as in real life.
Like any other work, it’s one thing to look at it and completely another experience to go and do it. Here are my notes from the beginning, 31 January 2017 when I joined G+TC-s.
It’s a hard work, each case is different and even if it seems we are giving the same answers, the work in progress requires a careful check, attention, attitude, policy consideration and in-depth knowledge and understanding of the platform, connected to real life experiences globally. The complexity of qualities required are:
- Experience on the platform
- Humility and personal awareness about the present moment, roles, Google’s perception.
- Persistent caring and presence
- Acknowledgement of other TC’s work
- Self-confidence and independent work
#GooglePlusKnowledge and continue learning is one of my hashtags since I started on G+ back in 2011. My other hashtag is #BeKnownForWhatYouCreate
This year there are regional summits in Singapore, Dublin and Mountain View. The Top contributors from Europe visiting Google headquarters in Dublin are 700 people from 10 countries. I’m a proud representative from my country Bulgaria.
History of TC Conference in brief.
It started in 2011. Here is what the extraordinary fellow Top Contributor Peggy K shares. Peggy K is an inspiration to all Top Contributors with her dedication and excellence being a Top Contributor for seven Google products.
“That first Top Contributor Summit in 2011 was an incredible experience. Meeting the other Top Contributors from around the world in person for the first time, being able to talk directly to Googlers who work on the products we’d been helping with, and learning from other experts was energizing.”
The words of John Skeats who is one of the legends among Top Contributors are completing the impression of that phenomenal event:
“The energy was so wonderful during my first TC Summit that it left me practically overwhelmed with enthusiasm by the time it came to an end. I was already excited about being a TC when I arrived, but I was absolutely thrilled by the time I left. It was wonderful to spend time with hundreds of people who volunteer their time to help other people. Having the opportunity to meet with not just the Google employees that TC interact with but members of the teams who develop the products we support made it even more exciting. I can’t find words to adequately describe what an amazing experience the Summit was!”
I’m honoured to participate in Google Top Contributor Summit and it gives me a reason to consider myself a global digital citizen.
Credit Map Patrick Whittick