Reaching Out

Jan 9, 2010

Chris Brogan wrote about how to reach out to bloggers.

Here’s the part that struck me the most.

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The trick is not to talk about your stuff. You should have started this outreach weeks and weeks before ever needing anything, and it should be genuine. Be interested in the people you hope will take an interest in you.

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I think that goes back to what I’ve been writing recently. That ultimately, it’s about people, and relationships. And I think those who understand that, not the ones who are just after monetization, are the ones who will get paid off. Those who spend the time getting to know people are the ones who will succeed in this space.

It’s also why I think there’s so much value here for individuals, not just companies. Perhaps even more for individuals than companies. Because it’s easier for an individual to meet new people and build relationships than it is for an organization, I believe. It’s therefore almost easier for an individual to engage and succeed in this space, than it is for a company. And that’s why I love this space. It gives power back to the individuals, the power to do as much as, if not more than, a formal organization.

So, as Chris wrote, “[y]ou should have started this outreach weeks and weeks before ever needing anything”. Who are you reaching out to today?

Why I Love Social Media

Jan 1, 2010

NYE @ Arab Street Tweetup was amazing, and I think it epitomized everything I love about social media. It had everything – spontaneity, great conversations, new friendships – it was just awesome. And before I go on, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made last night happen. Jerrick, Ivy, Justin Lee, Justin Ng, Hisham, Michael Cheng, Nicole, DK, Shawn, Jean, and everyone else who stopped by. I had a great time.

Here’s what happened. A few days ago, Jerrick and I were talking on Twitter. He’s back in Singapore for the holidays, and we were saying that we needed to catch up before he left again. Off the top of my head, I threw out the idea of doing something for New Years Eve with the other local social media people. Jerrick then retweeted the idea, and Ivy came across his retweet, and said it was a “great idea”. The three of us then started discussing what we should do, and by the next day, we decided (Ivy’s idea) to go hang out at Arab street for dinner, drinks and the like.

So, we created a twtvite and sent it out. People responded, and two days or so later, at the event, we had about 10 people show up. After dinner and some drinks, we decided to head to Hackerspace Singapore, for more conversations. And let me say, Hackerspace is awesome. They have a great idea, great beliefs and ideals, and I really hope they do well. But more on that another day.

Back to last night. We went to Hackerspace, and just hung out and talked. For something like 8 hours. In between that time, more people joined us, some left at various points in the night. But all in all, a group of us were there until 7 in the morning. We did a countdown, we talked about everything. From what social media meant to us individually, to our thoughts on how Singapore is like at the moment, to random conversations about toilets.

But it was great. Just hanging out, and having a great time with friends, filled with great conversation and discussion. I can’t think of a better way to start the new decade. Before yesterday, I had not met half of the people who were there before. By the end of the night (well, the morning, to be specific), I had made new friends, and I had had a night filled with great conversations, with really smart people.

So yes, that, in a nutshell, is why I love social media, and what I think it should be about. It’s what I’ve missed the most while I was on hiatus. Conversations, community and friendships, with a dash of spontaneity. We get so caught up sometimes worrying about how to monetize our blogs, how to build a reputation, how to further our personal brands, etc (and yes, don’t get me wrong, those things are important, in context), that we forget the social aspect of social media. And I think we need to always remember that.

At the end of the day, social media is about people. At least, that’s what I think.

What do you think? What is social media to you – and what do you like, or not like, about it?

Photo by mhisham

Making Things Happen

Jan 3, 2009

Been reading a number of posts about 2009. And more than anything, it seems like 2009 is going to be the year for action. Yes, it’s something I touched on in my previous post, but that was a little long and rambling-ish, and so yeah.

Mitch Joel wrote about how “Results speak louder than words“. Valeria Maltoni says that “Actions speak louder than words“, and encourages us to “Teach. Lead. Learn. Love.”. Chris Brogan shared his goals for 2009, “to equip and build armies”, and “moving needles”.

Seeing a trend? I certainly am. I think this is the year where these things -social media, etc – are really going to start maturing. We (myself included, for sure) need to really start executing, and not just talking about all of these ideas. And not just executing, but executing with concrete, measurable results.

We need to start leading, and making things happen.

What can you make happen in 2009?

What Happens After They’ve Come?

Jul 6, 2008

Stowe Boyd has a really good post on what new social applications have to do.

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So, my New Social App, open the door, invite me in, and tell me up front what you can do for me. But don’t forget to serve drinks and give me a friendly tour. If all you want is registered guests at your party, I’ll be there like every other edgling that gets an invite. But if you want more than zombies standing in the corner dribbling ice cream, make sure I know why your ice cream’s the best, show me the ropes, and make sure I’ve got a personal reason to stay and love you.

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It’s a very important point that we often miss. And again, it’s a lesson that stretches beyond just social applications.

It’s not just about getting new people in – new customers for your product, new readers for your blog, etc. What you do after they’ve entered the door is just as – if not more – important.