- Find the 'social object' around which a community exists
- Connect like-minded people as I’ve blogged (or better, as Seth Godin has)
We've put this in practice with Dan Pink on his new book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko and the community-building activity we call 'Bunko Breakfasts' (and now extended it with the Do-It-Yourself Bunko Breakfast)
So, tonight, I put myself on the other end of this equation.
One of my favorite bloggers hands-down is Fred Wilson. I've called him the 'godfather of blogging' and certainly the 'godfather of blog bling.'
After meeting one of Fred's associates last week, the idea was hatched:
What about a 'meet-up' of 'Fans of Fred' who live in the DC area?
Seeing as we all read and love his blog (the social object), would it be fun to connect with others who might be like-minded?
The answer: a RESOUNDING YES!!
What did we find?
First off, everyone was very excited for the event, enjoyed the great drinks, complementary sushi, meeting other local F.O.F.'s, and passing out their business cards.
Interestingly, the attendee segments mirrored Fred's topics.
- 33% from the VC world
- 33% start-ups/programmers/techies.
- 33% folks passionate about the Internet and its potential.
How they read the blog:
- 75% via RSS
- 25% via the website
Length of time as an F.O.F.
There was was a bi-polar distribution in response to how long folks had been reading Fred's blog.
- About 50% had been reading since 2004 or earlier
- The other 50% had started reading within the past year
There was only one person who started reading Fred's blog in 2005-06 timeframe.
Among the ‘veterans,’ most of us couldn't remember, we just said 'we'd been reading forever." So, for kicks, I went to see when Fred started posting and read his first one. Yes, Fred, you've posted a lot!
There’s a community lesson here though: Don't make presumptions that community is for 'veterans' or for 'rookies," It's for passionates. Give them a chance to get together.
Now, one of the thing I love about networking events is hearing about new ideas, which came out in force:
- challenj.com a cool app for ad-hoc competitions via FB
- predictad.com a way to monetize and enhance site search
- watchlister.com monitor your global micro-brand
- Health Central Network offers better health management
- mixedinkey.com (award for best elevator pitch: “We make the software that Madonna’s DJ uses!”
And, in a combination of shameless self-promotion with cross-pollination (with a healthy dose of positive Word-of-Mouth oomph), we had
- a raffle where Atul, Jamie, and Tomer each won a signed copy of The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, courtesy of Dan Pink
(full disclosure: my client).
- Johnson and Johnson agree to be a sponsor of the event promoting safe, clean, and hygienic networking, so everyone got a vial of Purell!
(full disclosure: my client)
I've sent this out to all the folks who attended, so hopefully they will add some comments.
Bottom line: a great event. Almost everyone asked “when are you doing another one?”
So, thanks to Fred for bringing us together!