What I learned from community


Over the weekend of May 1st, I attended SOBCon, a social media conference in Chicago. The highlight by far was “mastermind sessions” with the group at my table.

Becky, NEENZ, Sheila and Jon (not shown) were amazing people to bounce ideas off of and learn from.

One presentation covered our image and how important that is in our personal and organizational lives. We came to the concensus that it is important that others help you with any changes you need to make in that area. So we’re holding each other accountable – by Twitter!

NEENZ shared that in her native Hawaii, the attitude is so laid back that it’s hard to change. People accept you so much that they often prevent you from making any positive change. (“Awww – you don’t need to change! You’re fine!”) We agreed that true friends (and true community) tell each other tough things – as well as affirming things… “Speak the truth in love,” is what it says in Ephesians 4:15 (from the Bible).

A special thanks to Robert, who I also met at the conference, for this wonderful post idea.


Of pens, pencils and social media


I’ve always loved pens.

I just met Phil. He gave me a pen. (How cool is that?) He told me about the Levenger Store at Macy’s – a few blocks from the conference I attended over the weekend. Normally Levenger will assemble a small notebook for you to try out their pens on. Sadly, they were out of the paper, so I couldn’t get one. I did test drive a few of their pens. Nice. My budget wouldn’t quite stretch for the one I liked, but I did buy some pencils! My buddy Jon is analogue enough that he likes pencils, so I shared my pack with him.

One of the reasons I enjoy the social media community is that they’re very open-handed and friendly, as evidenced by Phil and Jon. Even though Chris has more than 66,000 followers on Twitter, he greeted me like a long-lost friend. (That was our first time to meet in person, though we have known each other through blogging for almost four years.) Jon, Becky, Sheila, NEENZ and I were good buddies by the end of the conference.

The social media community is a huge contrast to the graphic design community. When I finished college, I started work in Dallas. I went to several professional designers’ meetings. They seemed to be centered around achievement and ego. I never fit in. But the social media community celebrates those with disabilities that some may look down on. How refreshing!

And the pencils and pen are nice.

Takeaway: what are some ways you can be open-handed today?