LabTech Geek: How This Thriving Community Got Its StartLabTech Geek: How This Thriving Community Got Its Start
LabTech Geek, an independent online community of administrators and developers using the LabTech Software platform, has grown to about 5,000 registered members. But how did it all start? We spoke with the community's founder. Here are the details.
January 23, 2015
It was just a few years ago that Martyn Keigher, like so many systems administrators, went online to find answers to his technology problem of the day. He was looking for other users of the same software to help him solve his issues and get more out of the technology his company was using.
Fast forward to 2015 and Keigher has been named to our MSPmentor 250 list.
As a cofounder of LabTech Geek, a fast-growing independent community of LabTech Software users, Keigher has had a huge positive influence on the industry. The site has about 5,000 registered users (I spoke with Keigher a few weeks ago and it was NEARLY 5K then. I’m sure it’s tipped over the 5K mark by now.)
He has maintained his day job as a system administrator for Choice Solutions, an MSP based in Overland Park, Kansas. And he is quick to express his gratitude to his employer for allowing him to pursue this mission of building and maintaining a community that has made the world a better place for LabTech Software users and their customers.
But Keigher’s initial community was a small one – about 10 people in an IRC room (internet relay chat). It was in these early days that Keigher first made contact with LabTech Software’s code architect and CTO Greg Buerk. And as the two explored ways for users of the software to share code, the idea for an actual community site was born, launching about a month before LabTech’s 2013 Automation Nation event.
News of the community quickly spread, both at the event and after it. Fastforward another year and LabTech Software CEO Matt Nachtraub mentions the community site during his keynote address at the 2014 Automation Nation event.
An independent community
It’s important to note that while LabTech Geek has gotten this kind of promotional support from executives at the company, it’s an independent community.
“Today we have 8,000 posts,” Keigher told me. “The thing that makes this different from other sites is that this is a user community. The whole idea behind LabTech Geek is that it’s by the users for the users.”
Today, members of the community can use it to share best practices, scripts and lessons. Members have also used the community to reach out to potential mentors.
Plugins and an expanding platform
And the site has begun attracting more attention beyond system administrators. For instance, vendors that want to integrate with LabTech Software have started visiting, as more vendors have looked to develop plugins that work with LabTech’s platform. Vendors that now have plugins include Webroot, Intel vPro, and StackAdvisors, among others.
So what’s next for LabTech Geek? MSPmentor will be watching and staying in touch with Keigher to find out as the year progresses. In the meantime, Keigher is just happy that the community is helping all LabTech Software users.
“A rising tide raises all ships,” Keigher said. “That’s basically what it’s about.”
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