Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who says everything you do has to be productive?

There are probably better, more productive ways to spend a Friday evening, but fuck it. I like to get together and have a few beers with friends.

More often than not, I'm doing that at #evfn, or East Valley Friday Nights. #evfn is shorter. And yes, dammit, you need the hashtag. And yes, dammit, it's lower-cased. Don't make me get all typographical on your ass.

The history of #evfn and the other #_fns here in Phoenix is well documented. I wanted to talk tonight about why I put forth the energy to organize it each and every week. And since I love the bullet points, let's go that route:

#EVFN San Tan Brewery
Image by sheiladeeisme via Flickr
  • It's a lot of fun. See the title of this website. Fun means a lot to me. And the people who make up #evfn are fun people. That's the one underlying factor -- if you're not fun, stay home. You won't like hanging out with us. Or you'll sit off in the corner and never come back. That sucks, because we're a damned inclusive group. So get out of the corner and introduce yourself to me. I'll do my damnedest to make sure you have fun and meet these cool people.

  • It has no deeper meaning. I heard someone once call it a networking group. I almost coughed up my beer. Which really would have pissed me off, because I like good beer. Leave the business cards at home, please. Yeah, more than one person has met another person that wound up becoming a client or co-worker, but that's not what this is about. If you walk in with a stack of cards and start passing them out like fliers, you probably won't come back. Not because we'll call you out, but because you'll quickly get that our event and your goals aren't aligned. Oh, and we'll make fun of you after you leave. Early.

  • I don't do it alone. Often times -- this week, for instance -- I put the word out for others to handle the organization. They do. Thanks, Derek. This isn't my event. I don't own it. Sure, I have a lot of say in where it happens and not everyone always agrees. Hi again, Derek. But that's OK. If you don't like where it is one week, don't go. Hell, there are only a few of us that go almost each and every time. That's completely OK. In fact, it's by design. And if you have a place you want us to go to, I'll happily give you the reigns for an evening.

  • It gets me out. I work too hard. Or at least too much. You probably do, too. I come home from work and get on the lappy. So does Sheila. I work on the lappy most weekends. So does Sheila. If it weren't for #evfn, I'd become a true hermit. So in effect, you're all helping me say sane. And allowing me to pretend I'm really social in front of my wife.

So that's it. That's why I do this. This coming Friday, we're going to a new place in old town Chandler. After that, we're back at our normal Final Friday stomping grounds -- Whole Foods off Ray. And next month...? Lots of great places. Lots of great people. You should do something like this. Really, it's pretty easy.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tonight: Social Media 101 - Facebook privacy settings

Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia
Tonight's Social Media Club Phoenix will be doing a deep-dive into the world of Facebook. The session is all about tips, trends, and tactics for winning Facebook marketing. Some really smart friends of mind are on the panel. If you're in Phoenix and are free tonight at 6:30, you should go.

Prior to that, I'll be once again hosting a Social Media 101 talk for those who are new to the field. It's a safe place to ask what you think might be silly questions. I try and keep the old-school pundits away from the meeting, as I want all you noobs to have your chance to get up to speed. Get a few "experts" in the room and it quickly devolves to an inside-baseball conversation that few beyond the inner circle cares about.

My topic tonight dovetails nicely with what you'll learn in the big room later. I'll be addressing Facebook privacy settings. They've been through some revisions recently. You should know what your sharing, to whom your sharing it with, and how to change things to better suit your needs. Facebook is a growing microcosm of activity. Knowing what is happening with the data you provide -- or maybe don't provide -- the service is a Good Thing.

My talk begins promptly at 5:30. We only have about 45 minutes before the troop starts to show up, so be there a little early so you don't miss anything. It's at the corporate offices near the Biltmore.

If you feel like staying for the full SMC meetup, go ahead. Or go home afterward. It's your choice. Both events are free. They are also highly attended, so come get a good seat!

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Social media defined

Ask a dozen social media experts to define social media and you'll get a score of different answers. I don't understand this. The concept just isn't that hard.

I sat down with local-legend Jeff Moriarty to prove that very fact. Luckily for us -- hell, for you -- Joe Holt was there to capture the definition of social media on video.

It's simple. It's elegant. It's completey accessible. It's the type of advice anyone can quickly and easily implement immediately. Social media doesn't need to be hard.*

* - But who says it can't be funny?

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Monday, January 4, 2010

My pants are coming off in public this Sunday

No Pants AZ
Image by ousooner44 via Flickr
Last year, over 100 people came together for a common cause: the cause of taking off our pants and riding on the Light Rail.

OK, so we didn't try and cure cancer. But we sure had a lot of fun! We got great local, national and even international news coverage. Rumor has it my bare legs were seen on Scandinavian television the next day. Guess they don't have a lot to do up there. That, or looking at my gams keeps them warm at night. My money is on the former.

It's time to do it again. This coming Sunday, January 10th. You really should come out and take your pants off with us, as it's a grand old time. I'll be there again. With no pants on.

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