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5 Reasons to Join a Tribe on @Triberr

September 29, 2012

Introduction

Over a year ago, Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt), the Master Connector, invited me to join a tribe that she organized on Triberr – a “community-building platform for bloggers” and “reach multiplier.” Jenise had organized a tribe of meetings and events professionals and thought that my blog (on virtual events) would be a good fit for the group.

The idea is that you share (promote) tribe members’ blog postings on Twitter and they do the same in return (for you). When you join the tribe, you supply your blog’s “feed URL” (also known as the RSS feed URL) and every time you publish, the rest of the tribe “sees” your new post.

From there, each tribe member can click “Approve” to auto-publish a link to your post via Twitter. If you approve multiple posts at once, Triberr staggers the schedule, so that the tweets don’t all go out at once. When I first joined the tribe, I figured it would be a nice way to receive additional traffic to my blog. That’s been a given, but Triberr has provided me with a whole lot more.

So here are five reasons to consider finding (and joining) your own Triberr tribe.

1) Expands the reach of your blog postings.

Before Triberr, I’d publish a new blog posting, tweet a link to it, then repeat that tweet a few more times during the week. I’d hope that others would see my tweet – and if I was lucky, retweet me (thus sharing my link with their followers).

With Triberr, I get a “built-in endorsement network,” a set of people who see (and may choose to share) each and every post that I publish. The tribe brings a quantity and quality of reach. Combined, they have a significant quantity of followers on Twitter. But it’s the quality that’s more important to me: the tribe brings a diversity in followers that’s impossible to achieve alone.

2) Find interesting posts and articles to read.

I love to find interesting and thought-provoking articles to read. Twitter (and related apps, such as Flipboard) have helped in the discovery process, since a prominent activity on Twitter is the sharing of links. Triberr helps in my quest to discover great content.

On a daily basis, I’ll check the “New Posts” area of Triberr to see what my tribe has recently published. And this ends up becoming part of my reading list for the day. If you find the right tribe, they’ll constantly feed you great content (their own!).

3) A community assembles and grows.

I love how Triberr calls itself “a community-building platform.” It’s so true. Going in, I knew a number of my tribe members already (mostly via Twitter!). But being part of the tribe has helped build a sense of “team” and togetherness.

I’ve gotten to know my tribe-mates better, as we’ve bonded via our collective writings. And by extending my blog’s audience by way of the tribe, I’ve found and discovered new contacts in the industry – and they’ve discovered me as well (i.e. subscribed to my blog, followed me on Twitter, etc.)

4) Provides great content for you to tweet.

While some may find this hard to believe, there are times when I don’t have much to tweet about. Consider it a 140-character form of writer’s block. That’s when I turn to Triberr. Sometimes when I forget to check “New Posts” for a day or two, there will be 5+ posts queued up there. And if I’m short on tweets that morning, I’ll review, read, then approve the posts and wha-la! I’ve just scheduled 5 tweets to go out that morning.

5) Spark ideas for new blog posts.

When my writer’s block moves from Twitter to my blog, I can look to my tribe and consider what they’ve written about recently. That can give me topic ideas for my own blog. I consider it “food for thought” to help feed my own blog’s editorial calendar.

Conclusion

Triberr, and especially the “Got Your Back” tribe to which I belong, has been fantastic. Between “blog promotion” and “being part of a community,” I value the latter the most. Whether you’re just starting out or have been blogging for years, consider finding a tribe to join. If you can’t find one, create a new tribe and invite your network to join!

Useful Resources on Triberr

  1. How Triberr Works,” from WikiMommy.
  2. A Guide to Getting Started on Triberr,” from AllTriberr.

Note: I invite you to connect with me on .

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The Role of Connectors (like @JeniseFryatt) in Social Networks

September 22, 2012

Introduction

In “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, there’s a chapter called “The Law of the Few: Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.” Gladwell introduces us to the concept of a Connector, “people with a particular and rare set of social gifts,” and he describes the most famous Connector in U.S. history: Paul Revere.

On the evening of Paul Revere’s famous ride (“The British are coming!”), a fellow revolutionary named William Dawes set out on a similar ride, but along a different path. Dawes’ ride, however, didn’t alert the community in the way that Revere’s did.

Local militia leaders were not awoken and compelled into action. It was a Connector like Revere who stirred people from sleep and rallied them to action.

10 Characteristics of Connectors

In the rest of the chapter, Gladwell tells the stories of modern day Connectors. By way of these stories, we come to learn common characteristics of Connectors:

  1. “An instinctive and natural gift for making social connections.”
  2. “More of an observer, with the dry, knowing manner of someone who likes to remain a bit on the outside.”
  3. Simply likes people, in a genuine and powerful way, and he finds the patterns of acquaintanceship and interaction in which people arrange themselves to be endlessly fascinating.”
  4. “Connectors are important for more than simply the number of people they know. Their importance is also a function of the kinds of people they know.”
  5. “People whom all of us can reach in only a few steps because, for one reason or another, they manage to occupy many different worlds and subcultures and niches.”
  6. “Finds everyone interesting … have some instinct that helps them relate to the people they meet.”
  7. “We rely on them [Connectors] to give us access to opportunities and worlds to which we don’t belong.”
  8. “Gregarious and intensely social.”
  9. “An uncanny genius for being at the center of events.” [in reference to Paul Revere]
  10. “They see possibility … while most of us are busily choosing whom we would like to know and rejecting the people who don’t look right…”

The Social Web’s Paul Revere: Jenise Fryatt

Chances are you know this person. Her name is Jenise and she’s a Connector. I “met” Jenise via Twitter – she’s quite active there (@JeniseFryatt), but also connects with people on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and elsewhere.

If the “British are coming,” I’d want Jenise to be the one on that horse, shouting from the rooftops (and of course, she’d probably go on Twitter first, where she’d immediately receive 100 retweets).

When I got to “The Law of the Few” chapter while reading “The Tipping Point,” I said to myself, “Connector? You’ve just described  Jenise.” Coincidentally, Jenise recently wrote a piece on the Cvent blog about ways to think like a connector.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jenise (“in real life”) at PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference earlier this year. Prior to that, I had developed a friendship with Jenise entirely online. All ten of the Connector descriptions (above) apply to Jenise. Here are examples of how Jenise connected me to others (people, opportunities, etc.):

  1. Received mentions on Twitter (by Jenise) for #EIR. At first, I didn’t know what “EIR” stood for. Jenise was interviewed on Liz King’s blog and provides the background behind “Engage, Inform, Retweet.”
  2. Was asked by Jenise if she could re-publish some of my blog postings on Engage365.org (at the time, Jenise was that site’s Community Manager).
  3. Connected me with other users on Twitter, whom I otherwise would not have met. One example: Michael Eliopoulos (@TheReelMJE), with whom I exchange thoughts on the world of sports.
  4. Invited me into a “tribe” of event professionals on Triberr (a neat service that allows our “tribe” to share and promote each other’s blog postings).
  5. Jenise has an active and widely read blog called “Sound n’ Sight” and she often publishes guest posts from industry professionals. Jenise recently published a Q&A with me about blogging.

The Role of Connectors in Social Networks

For me, Twitter would be a far different (and less enjoyable) experience without Connectors. It’s through Jenise that I’ve met so many people on Twitter, both in our industry and outside it. In fact, when I met Jenise at Convening Leaders, I decided to join her group for dinner one evening, as I knew I’d have the chance to meet a bunch of other interesting conference-goers.

Let’s consider the role that Jenise (and other Connectors) play in social networks.

Makes the social fabric stronger.

Connectors are the ties that bind our social fabric. Like the ligaments in our body (that connect bone to bone), Connectors introduce people to one another – and from there, it’s up to those people to further build and nurture that connection.

Keeps participants engaged (and coming back).

If Twitter was just about sharing links (and, sharing what you had for lunch), it wouldn’t be as enjoyable. It’s the interactions and the connections to new people that make it exciting for me. When I first access Twitter, it’s the “Interactions” that I check first, not the tweets. And that’s what keeps me coming back, more than anything else. Without Connectors, we’d all have less Interactions.

Recruits future Connectors.

For those who are inclined to be Connectors themselves, it’s existing Connectors that serve as role models. For instance, Jenise’s #EIR (on Twitter) helps to acknowledge people who are actively interacting with others. This, in turn, causes some to share their own #EIR lists (much in the same way that #FF / #FollowFriday took off). And those who compile their own #EIR lists may become full fledged Connectors some day. And the more Connectors there are, the stronger the social fabric bonds.

Recruits from outside the network.

Social network Connectors help evangelize the service (e.g. Twitter) and encourage people to join (I bet Jenise has done this). They explain the benefits of having a Twitter account (for example), but it doesn’t stop there. They’ll provide guidance and mentoring on how to get started, along with a hearty amount of encouragement. Later, they’ll connect these new users to others. And once again, the social fabric bonds tighter.

Conclusion

Connectors play a critical role in social networks. If Gladwell were to re-write his chapter several years from now, perhaps he’d analyze the Arab Spring, rather than the American Revolution. With the Arab Spring, I’m sure that Connectors played a central role in rallying their peers to overthrow governments. Ironically, Gladwell would write that the revolution will not be tweeted. But I disagree.

Note: I invite you to connect with me on .


Top 10 Tips for Social Media Time Management

August 17, 2012

Introduction

Whether you use social media for work, pleasure, personal branding or all of the above, one of the trickier questions is, “How do I manage my time on social media?” Like New York, social media is the “city that never sleeps” and there seems to be a new social network emerging every week. So how do you keep up? Consider these ten tips.

1) Understand that you have a fixed amount of time.

Time (in the day) is a zero sum game, at least for those of us who require sleep. The 20 minutes I spend fixing the kitchen sink is 20 minutes I won’t have to do something else. So think of your social media activities as a continual give and take. Give the effort that you’re comfortable with, but don’t let it take over your life.

2) Let automated tools assist you.

On social media, you can find a tool (or app) for just about anything. A good number of tools are absolutely free, while others are paid (or freemium) tools. The Next Web published an excellent list of “50 (mostly) free social media tools you can’t live without in 2012.”

One tool that I like to use is Buffer, which allows me to schedule certain tweets at specific times. If I have an article to share late one night (on the West Coast of the U.S.), it won’t be seen on the East Coast, as most everyone has gone to bed. So I’ll use Buffer to schedule it to be posted (automatically) the next morning.

3) Know what you’re good at.

Figure out what you’re good at, along with what you enjoy the most (they’re very often one and the same). Then, schedule your activities such that you’re focusing 60% (or more) of your time on that very thing. My primary focus is Twitter. Other social networks may come and go, but I’ve enjoyed Twitter the most. And that’s where I spend most of my social media time.

4) Get into a routine.

Just like the morning coffee, the afternoon walk or the after-dinner dish cleaning, social media is incorporated into my daily routine. I have social media with my morning coffee, in fact. As I’m checking the morning headlines, I’ll tweet some interesting articles. As I see what’s written about my favorite sports teams, I’ll check whether any images are worth pinning on Pinterest.

5) Find the right blend.

Don’t stick to one sort of activity (e.g. tweeting links). Find a good blend of activities, which include publishing, sharing and interacting. Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt) coined the term “EIR” (Engage, Inform, Retweet) and routinely lists (and thanks) Twitter users with the hash tag #EIR.

When I started with Twitter, my activities were all about publishing. These days, I find roughly 25% of my tweets are interactions (e.g. at replies, retweets, etc.).

6) Use social networks’ mobile apps.

On my iPhone, I’ve downloaded mobile apps for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest (to name a few). The mobile apps have been tremendous for time efficiency.

Now, when I’m stuck on a 30 minute security line at the airport, that’s 25 minutes I get to check in with friends on Facebook, see what’s happening on Twitter, etc. (the other 5 minutes is consumed by fumbling for my driver’s license and untying my shoe laces).

7) Use email notifications to alert you.

While some have declared a death to email (partially due to social networks), I find it to be the “glue” that connects all of your social media activities. In particular, email is great for notifying you to take action.

For instance, I get an email when someone mentions me on Twitter. I can read the details (in the email) and if I’m on mobile, I can tweet back to the user right away. Similarly, I receive emails when someone comments on my Google+ post, so I know to reply back when I get a chance.

8) Spend 15% of your time experimenting.

Craft a 15% budget towards R&D (or, trying out new things). When Google+ first came out, I didn’t jump on board right away. But when I did, I spent a good chunk of my time on it, to learn about Circles, Hangouts and more. While Twitter rules the roost for me, that may not be the case forever. And it’s this experimentation that may identify whatever comes next.

9) Use aggregation and recommendation services.

The best example I can give is Summify – their service is so neat that they were recently acquired by Twitter. Summify creates a “daily summary of the most relevant news from your social networks.” In a given hour, you may have 7,000 tweets in your stream. You need to skim through a lot of text to find content that interests you.

Summify finds the particularly popular links that people you’re following have shared. It’s now incorporated into the daily email (sent by Twitter). The recommendations are so good that I click on more than half of the links.

Related services include LinkedIn Today and Twitter Stories.

10) Take a break.

You shouldn’t be on social media all the time. It may be hard to do, but allocate periods of time where you go completely offline. Trust me, you’ll enjoy the break and you’ll return with a fresh perspective on things. I took a break from social media to go camping – and it was fabulous.

Conclusion

So in closing, I’ll reiterate a few of the key points:

  1. Find what you’re good at (and enjoy) and spend most of your time doing it.
  2. Technology (tools, emails, aggregation services) will aid in time efficiency.
  3. Find the right blend of publishing, sharing and interacting.
  4. Use email notifications to alert you to take action.
  5. Take a break and go offline.

Note: I invite you to connect with me on .


Provide Answers to Virtual Events Questions (#engage365 Twitter Chat)

December 3, 2011

Introduction

Recently, I joined an #engage365 Twitter chat and answered virtual events questions posed by host Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt). I’m posting the chat questions here and inviting you to provide answers.

Question List

  1. What do you see as the biggest obstacles to virtual events right now?
  2. Would you please define a “virtual event?”
  3. What are some of the ways that planners are funding their virtual events?
  4. With hybrid events on the rise, are you seeing more organizations offering free remote attendance, or charging?
  5. With more free remote attendance, it would seem more organizations are understanding the marketing value, agree?
  6. When people do charge for remote access, what types of events still get good remote attendance?
  7. How can organizations best prepare for the growth of virtual events in the future?
  8. Do you think a new position that combines IT knowledge with event knowledge will evolve to meet virtual event needs?
  9. Do you see websites of events transform into virtual events year round? Examples maybe?
  10. What part of a virtual events team should have a dedicated person? I see content and experience as labor intensive. You?

How to Participate

Use the Comments area to provide your answers. In addition, feel free to provide comments to the existing answers. Thanks!

 


Ask Me a Question on Virtual Events (#engage365 Twitter Chat)

December 1, 2011

Join the chat now via tweetchat: http://tweetchat.com/room/engage365

Introduction

Are you ready for a Twitter chat? I’ll be answering questions on virtual events during an #engage365 “Water Cooler Chat” hosted by Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt) of Icon Presentations (@IconPresentsAV).

Date: Friday, December 2, 2011

Time: 1PM EST

Location: On Twitter.

How to Participate

If you’re using a Twitter client, simply add a column that pulls in tweets with the tweetchat’s hash tag: #engage365. Here’s a look at how I’ve done it in TweetDeck:

There’s also a neat (and free) service called tweetchat (@tweetchat). I plan to use this service for the Twitter Chat. You can use this URL to take you directly in to the chat:

http://tweetchat.com/room/engage365

Finally, you can find more information on the Engage365 “Water Cooler Chats” here:

http://engage365.org/2010/02/water-cooler-chat-226/

Hope to “tweet you” there!

 


#eventprofs Profile: Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt) on Event Evolution and More

August 5, 2011

“Events will change, but they will also thrive because nothing is more satisfying than turning our online relationships into real-life face to face friendships”

Introduction

Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt, @IconPresentsAV) is Co-Owner and Marketing Director for Icon Presentations, an independent audio visual company that provides sound, video, projection & lighting support for events. Jenise is based in Southern California. Online, however, you can find her everywhere.

Jenise founded the #EIR movement by creating the associated hash tag and promoting Twitter users who “Engage, Inform and Retweet.” She’s a power user and influencer in the #eventprofs community, sharing a constant stream of useful resources that rivals the pace of Jeff Hurt (@JeffHurt).

In addition, Jenise is Community Manager for Engage365, an online community for event professionals that focuses on technology and innovation. She’s also a co-organizer for Event Camp Europe, taking place this Fall in London.

Thoughts on: Event Camp

Event Camp is a collection of events that was formed by the #eventprofs community on Twitter. Its mission is “to bring together like-minded professionals, to share best practices, and learn new strategies, for leveraging social media and technology to create enhanced event experiences.”

Event Camp Twin Cities (#ectc11) is fast approaching and Jenise recommends you attend. “Last year ECTC blew everyone away with its masterful hybrid event presentation,” said Jenise. “I’m happy to say that this year I will be sharing improv concepts and a game or two with the ECTC participants,” continued Jenise.

Event Camp East Coast gives event pros the opportunity to experience a completely attendee-driven event.  According to Jenise, “That one changed my life last year starting me on a new career path sharing improv games with non-performers.“

Thoughts on: Hybrid Events

Jenise attended her first hybrid event in 2010 (Event Camp).  She was immediately captivated by the power of hybrid events. “I particularly like what people like Emilie Barta (@EmilieBarta) have done to improve the presentation quality by blending platforms and including remote and onsite audiences as participants in one event,” said Jenise.

Thoughts on: Event Evolution

Jenise is excited by the movement in the event industry to “recognize and make use of the collective knowledge of our event participants.” According to Jenise, “I have performed and studied improv for several years and know first-hand that magic happens when you give a group the proper tools for collaborating and just let them go.”

I expect this model of active attendee involvement to accelerate. Millenials, who grew up with the web at their fingertips, are frustrated by passive audience models. Jenise expects to see “creativity in new technology and formats like virtual events, gaming elements in events and participant driven events.”

Thoughts on: Event Evolution for Associations

“One thing to watch is the threat that these new ways of meeting and collaborating so easily and inexpensively pose to the traditional ways associations are run.  Associations will have to evolve to remain relevant. Events will change, but they will also thrive because nothing is more satisfying than turning our online relationships into real-life face to face friendships.”

Thoughts on: Social Marketing for Small Business

To market a small business online, Jenise partakes in a steady diet of content creation. She maintains two blogs, Sound n’ Sight and Eventprov. She uses Twitter to promote her blog posts – and at the same time, uses Twitter to share related content that clients may find useful.

Jenise guest blogs whenever asked, moderates Twitter chats for #eventprofs and #Engage365 and regularly posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Like I said earlier, she’s everywhere. It’s hard work, but it pays off for Icon Presentations. According to Jenise, “We now rank #1 for almost all of our key words. And I have had many business opportunities as a result of my online friendships.”

For other small businesses looking to market themselves online, Jenise has this bit of sage advice: “Change your perception about marketing.  It’s not about one-way broadcasting anymore.  It’s about building relationships with potential clients as well as those who will help to sing your praises.”

Thoughts on: Google+

Jenise has been experimenting with Google+, noting that the most active people are the early-adopter, social media geek types. So far, she likes how Google+ combines some of her favorite attributes of Facebook and Twitter.

She’s excited by Google Hangouts, the group video feature of Google+. “A few of my online friends and I have been meeting for group video chats for more than a year and have struggled with tech difficulties on several platforms we’ve tried. When we tried Hangouts it was easy and all the tech problems were gone.”

Related Resources

  1. Web site: Icon Presentations
  2. Blog: Sound n’ Sight
  3. Blog: Eventprov
  4. Web site: Engage365
  5. Web site: Event Camp Twin Cities

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Virtual Events Q&A

July 27, 2011

Read the full Q&A: http://www.icon-presentations.com/blog/bid/40930/Virtual-Events-for-eventprofs-Q-A-with-Dennis-Shiao

Introduction

Icon Presentations is “one of the country’s presentation leaders specializing in projection and wide screen video blending.” Jenise Fryatt (@IconPresentsAV) is with Icon Presentations, where she authors the Sound n’ Sight blog.  I had the privilege of doing a Q&A with Jenise on her blog, on the topic of virtual events.

Q&A

I provided answers to the following questions:

  1. Can you define “virtual event”?
  2. What do you think is the biggest myth about virtual events?
  3. What do event professionals need to learn about them?
  4. Can virtual events help planners to show a measurable return on investment for their clients?
  5. How do you determine which kind of virtual event will best meet your needs?
  6. What resources would you suggest for event professionals who want to learn more about virtual events?

To read my answers, view the full blog posting at Sound n’ Sight.


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