Posted in Relationships, SocialMedia

Generosity of the SoMe Crowd (#usguys)

Need clothes, specialized expertise, rental space, airline tickets, new friends, a listening ear?  Where can you go and find other birds of the same feather?  Social Media ~ or SoMe as some refer to it!  Never before have a met a more generous, optimistic, considerate, philanthropic group of people in “one place!”

Seriously, if you put a question out there, somebody is going to answer you!  If you’re not skilled with the techniques of how to use the tools to the greatest advantage, just ask!  Someone generous with their time will educate you!  They may be on the other side of the world, but you’ll find someone compassionate who remembers what its like to be in your shoes.

I hate long surveys, and most people don’t like to participate.  But with a tool like Twitter, you’re forced to be precise!  One hundred and forty (140) characters isn’t a lot, but you can say so much!  In a previous post asking for book recommendations I asked for other books of a similar genre and solicited feedback from my followers.  Within two hours I had 25 recommendations!  Now that’s what I call responsive!

Again tonight, I asked “Survey Question: How many people would donate excess possessions to other #SM connections who may have need? #usguys #Philanthropy Again, because of my use of hashtags to a great group of people who call themselves #USGUYS, I had 4 responses within minutes:

Libby Baker Sweiger (@libbytalks) The first to respond replied – “Absolutely!” and retweeted my survey question.

Mark Berhhardt (@ImMarkBernhardt) The second to respond replied – “I’ve donated time & money to/through #SoMe contacts. Things? Sure would.”

Margie Arnett (@Giddyup2) The third to respond replied – “I would and have!” and also retweeted my survey question.  In a later tweet responding to my thanks, she said “Just mending the world within my reach”

Trent Bown (@Bowndairyman) The fourth to respond replied – “so much knowledge and time has already been freely shared w/me. Feel I need to pay it forward! #usguys” and after following up with a thanks for his response he replied “the thing is…. Social media & specifically #usguys has brought it out in me, reminded me the importance of it!

While I was typing this blog post…two more people (Eric Danzeisen @FunWithBulls & Brent Boersma @4GFarms) chimed in with “ME!” in response to my survey question!

What started this survey was a question a fairly recent Twitter follower & friend Jason Houck (@JasonPromotesU) asked if I knew of anybody who had any frequent flier miles for a round trip ticket they may want to donate. He has a friend who’s going into surgery Friday morning who doesn’t have any family in the area to be with him.  He wanted to fly out to be there for him. I suggested he put the question out to his followers. I tweeted his need and had Mark Bernhardt retweet. I have confidence that somebody somewhere has some frequent flier miles they may be willing to part with. He’s willing to trade services for the flier miles donated.  So, if you’re reading this and can assist in any way, contact Jason!  Remember, you can’t direct message someone that doesn’t follow you, so if you want to donate and he doesn’t follow you already, send him a tweet to establish the conection.

The lesson to learn or take away from this post is to realize the power of your connections.  What makes #USGUYS strong is nightly chatter and weekly Monday afternoon #usguyschat!  Unfortunately, I’m always at work during the #usguys chat, but I try to participate as many nights as I can. You quickly develop some incredible connections with awesome people when you dialogue with the regulars.  You learn a lot about yourself, others, and the world around you!

I encourage everyone who reads this to create a Twitter account if you don’t have one, start using it more if you do, and find a strong community of like minded people by searching the #hashtags!!!  A BIG THANKS TO #USGUYS!

Posted in SocialMedia

My First TweetUp!

A friend of mine, Brian Smith,  who works at Rebel Interactive, invited me to a local TweetUp on Facebook.  Looking at the confirmed event attendees list I saw that Katie Knapp Schubert, from my most listened to radio station KIOS-FM was going to be there!  I have an awfully long commute to work each day and I have heard her voice for the last several years. I’m the type that achieves a certain level of satisfaction in being able to put a face to a name, so I just had to go.

California Tacos and More was the location of the event.  I had completed my homework and made a list of all the Facebook confirmed attendees–I annotated what line of work each attendee is in and was prepared to experience my first TweetUp.  It sounds simple enough, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions about what I was going to get out of it.  I arrived a few minutes after 12pm to a long line of people.  The place is rather smallish but the food is absolutely wonderful.  I recognized one of the ladies from her Facebook profile and recognized the familiar bubbly infectious “social media” user personality.  I realized right then, regardless of the purpose/outcome, I was bound to have a good time.

I introduced myself to Marjorie and carried on conversation with her and two other people who joined.  After ordering my food and sitting down with my drink, a gentleman by the name of Jim sat down right across from me.   He was a cattle farmer and said he was adding poultry to his farming operation and wanted to get his organic product into food stores.  Well, little did he know that I recently returned from a visit to my brother-in-law from Arkansas who just received his NPIP Certification for his Microbiology/Chemistry Lab.  NPIP stands for National Poultry Improvement ProgramWhitbeck Laboratories is one of the few privately owned laboraties in the Nation which is authorized to conduct Salmonella testing and consult with chicken farmers backed by the standards required by the USDA.  He passed onto me two documents that he put together about his operation with his contact info and asked if I would pass them on.

After finishing my meal I decided to chat a little more to Katie from KIOS-FM and sitting next to her was a gal named Jennifer.  She just happened to be a CBS Home Real Estate representative.  After discussing my families plans to sell our home and purchase one closer to downtown Omaha, she offered to do whatever paperwork necessary to obtain approval from our bank to become an authorized agent for my banks Movers Advantage program.  I met several other fine outgoing people.

All of the attendees were folks I could imagine meeting up for coffee just to hang out, or play board games, watch movies, or go camping with them.  It was amazing how comfortable I was amongst strangers.  I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised because the crowd at this TweetUp are probably representative of the social culture that is fairly open-minded, flexible, positive people.  Conversation varied between personal / professional…typical “getting to know you” type discussion.  If you have never been to a TweetUp, I highly recommend it.  Just remember, you don’t have to be an expert user of Twitter to tweet or attend a TweetUp.  Everybody starts somewhere!

Have a great weekend everyone.  Follow me on Twitter @justasked.