Google Top Contributor Program
Besides the vast number of experienced and passionate users that are out there, there is a smaller subset of volunteers that have shown to be exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly in one or more of Google Products. These individuals are invited by Google to become a “Rising Star”and eventually a “Top Contributor”. These advanced users have consistently shown that they are well-versed in their product of choice (or multiple). A support benefit of being in the Google Top Contributor program, is that “TCs” have a line of communication to Google and the various Google Product Teams via their Community Managers. This allows Rising Stars and Top Contributors to dig deeper and pull from a wide variety of help resources and other Google Top Contributors.
So while you may get fantastic support from users that are not Google Top Contributors, it is important to know, and be able to identify, Top Contributors and Rising Stars when seeking help in various channels. You may see one or more of the badges below attached to a volunteers profile, photo, etc. This is a visual indicator that they are part of the Top Contributor program.
Why Would Someone Do This For “Free”?
We get asked this all the time. My first response might be cheesy, but I typically point out that “pay” isn’t always about money. There are many ways that Top Contributors and Rising stars are rewarded by being in the program.
We’re Users Just Like You
We didn’t start off as Top Contributors. We were (and still are) users of the same Google products and services. It’s very likely we use them multiple times everyday and even need help ourselves. At some point, we all reached out for help from other volunteers – and we still do!
When we take our experience and help others be more knowledge or less frustrated, that is very rewarding.
We Really Do Like To Help
A common trait among Top Contributors and Rising Stars is the satisfaction we get from helping other people. Especially if it changes someone’s bad day into a great one. They may even help another user learn something they didn’t know. Sometimes those same users we help end up becoming Rising Stars or Top Contributors themselves.
To Meet Great People With Similar Interests
I’ve had the please of meeting and working with lots of great people through the program. Not just other volunteers, but also Googlers (Google Employees). It really is an extended family of sorts. Many of us are friends outside of the program and have worked on projects together or hang out when we can. It’s amazing how well many of us can just “click” because we immediately have several traits and interests in common.
Closer to Google!
I can’t speak for everyone on the Top Contributor Program, but many of us just really like Google or Google products and services. We can’t get enough of it and that enthusiasm is what fuels our intense desire to help others and share our knowledge, tips and tricks.
A huge benefit of being in the program is getting to work more directly with our Google Community Managers and the various Google Product Teams. People think we have authority to make changes to Google Products – we don’t. However, our voice is heard by Google. That means a lot to us and to all of the users we help.
In addition to the things I mentioned above, we attend meetups and other gatherings. Those are a great way to meet other Top Contributors, Rising Stars and many of the Googlers that we work with regularly.