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  1. Social Media+Technology+Outdoors misfits or fit

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    So you have seen me talk a lot about how Social Media, Technology, and the Outdoors lately so I wanted to write a post about these Misfits or Fit for connecting us as people. Yes I know you probably read that first sentence and said to yourself  “What? Are you kidding me I go to the outdoors to get away from all this wacky stuff!” Sorry to tell you, your data is calling your bluff.   Yes I would not be totally “transparent” (for my big word users) if I did not agree with that statement a little….but I am going to start a discussion that hopefully has a long tail for outdoor retailers, outdoorsy people, technology retailers, technology innovators, government agencies, non-profits and businesses that relay on people engaging and communicating with the tools and technologies in the outdoors.

    Ok here we go. I have been part of many outdoor activities since moving to Minnesota. I have duck hunted, deer hunted, fished, boated, hiked, canoed, motorcycled, rode bike, skied, ice fished, and my favorite RV camping. After reading that list were you like really? Yes the suit 5 days a week is my Clark Kent side. So living an outdoors lifestyle (and believe me there are people way more hardcore at this than I) as well as being involved in many online social communities I have been watching, listening and participating and discovering some patterns that I want to explore with people, companies, and organizations.

    I have thought through some initial ideas to get this conversation and action going on how social media+technology+outdoors are truly socially connecting us on and offline for good. I want to explore the data, social objects that people are putting out there, for deeper and richer connections between the people, their technologies, the outdoors, the brands that support these activities, the brands that support them, and how to create real return on investment (have a couple of real dollars in real dollars out ideas) by companies and consumers in this space. Yes, I know the initial reactions are “Keith you are crazy people go to the outdoors to get away from technology and especially social media” Well unfortunately, your data is telling a different story…..so you may want to have a talk with it!

    I have teamed up with the fine folks managing the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis/St. Paul in particular Rick Mahn to leverage the rich social media savvy, technology curious, and experienced people in this community to bring this to light. I have also been in contact with many local providers of products and services within the outdoor space to participate in a the discussion as well to see where this conversation goes. Currently these fine folks have signed up for the first part of a two part plan to kick off the engagement, discussion, ideas, collaborations, co-creations, and real business that can be done based on this topic. The outdoor industry accounts for $5.075 billion dollars in 2009 that is just the retail side selling products and services.  Then when you couple in the resorts, campgrounds, guide businesses, hotels, rental shops, RV Boat ATV Dealerships, restaurants, technology services and social media tool side of that money and there are many many many systemic value points to listen, engage, make happy, service to convert into real dollar values.

    The participants to kick off the discussion will be as follows:

    • Molly Solberg from Duluth Pack: Molly is the Director of Social Media and Business Development for Duluth Pack.  She is actively managing the twitter account as well as Duluth Pack Blog.  Molly has also initiated a Social Media Breakfast Duluth community also! She not only works for a 128 year outdoor company, but she lives and breathes the outdoor lifestyle in her personal life too.
    • Kim Opitz representing Crestliner as a vendor: Crestliner (twitter acct) celebrates 65 years as an innovator in the aluminum market; delivering a complete line of fishing, fish and ski, pontoon and jon boats to enthusiastic consumers across the United States and Canada. You can find them engaging their communities at Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, andVimeo
    • Adam Jochum from Crow River Coffee Company: Adam runs Crow River Coffee Company in Watertown, MN.  He has graciously offered up his studio that normally broadcasts Spacevidcast.com live.  His studio will allow us to have fully interactive discussion with a live feed of the social platforms as well as a livestreaming of the discussion.  This is cool! Adam and Crow River totally fits social media+technology+outdoors, because who doesn’t drink coffee in the outdoors.  It is a great themed back drop to the whole first part of this experience.
    • Rick Mahn from Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul: Rick has an extensive IT background and understanding of infrastructure, Rick brings the knowledge and skill to help build your personal or professional network through years of exploration of social media, learning its strengths and weaknesses. His practical experience in the industry combined with his love of communication and team building have enabled him to bridge the gap between personal and professional networking with great success.  Rick is also one of the founding members of the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul.  Rick has established a community of well over 2,000+ community members here in Minneapolis St. Paul. We will have to confirm during our livestreaming discussion but I do believe he is the Social Media Title holder for most community members, longest consistently running SMB, and the SMB with the most sessions 29, to date.  We will ask him!

    So that is the first part of the plan.  Now for the meaty, juicy, slap some pepper jack cheese and big piece of bacon on part two of this plan. Rick and I have had several discussions about how we can take this discussion into the outdoors and really see if we can fully make the equation of social media+technology+outdoors come to life.  I do believe we have hit on a plan……now before I go any further you will have to wait a little for part two, but I think we will make it worth the wait, right Rick!

    So here is the plan a 2 day Social Media Breakfast camping experience at a campground.

    • The tentative agenda would look something like this:
    • Day 1 Arrive at the Campground, SMB’ers with or without families set up campsites and connect throughout the day.  Meet each other.  Meet sponsors. Meet each others families.  Maybe have some technology based contests.  Hopefully we have some vendors, retailers, service provides that would like to participate in their element.
    • Day 2 The regularly scheduled SMB would take place from 8am to 10am. This would be at a couple of the campsites sitting around the campfire ring (with or without fire….still deciding) with hopefully the same participants (maybe even some more based on the longtail discussion) from the livecast discussing what has happened since the livecast, what is on the near horizon, and what does the future look like. This would be a fully interactive discussion, hence in the circle around the campfire ring.This camping adventure would take place sometime in May or Jun 2011.

    The livecast of this discussion will take place on October 13th, 2010 starting at 7:30pm.  Yes we are doing a livecast with video, chat and twitter stream!  So start preparing questions or comments that are on your mind?  What areas would you like us to touch on?  I am really looking forward to this ongoing discussion.  Any person and business is welcomed to just jump in where ever.  I have even thought about starting a bi-weekly or monthly twitter chat under the #hashtag of #smtochat, but we will take 1st things first.  Lets see how the livecast goes!  Be on the look out for details and links to the live webcast!

    Additionally, I want this to be an ongoing discussion, so if want to continue the discussion after the livecast just use the hashtag #smoutside10.  At anytime we think that another livcast should take place with different participants, it is a ok too.  If anyone wants to give me a 2011Keystone Springdale 303BHSSR you could do that too (I am totally kidding……our beloved @pulling was totaled out in a hailstorm this year).  This is definitely going to be a community effort.  Leave some comments, we would love to hear from you!

  2. Social Networking Tips from a Regular Guy

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    This will be an ongoing list of networking tips from a regular guy making his way through this wacky wacky world of reality and social networking. Hope you enjoy and please comment and let me know what you think:

    Networking Tip #1: Just ask people to meet once you establish a good foundation. Don’t be afraid many people want to meet face to face!  Jokingly I told people a while back I had a 98% success rate on my asking, but went back and looked at numbers and yes since Jan 2010 I have met with 67 people face to face many asks on my part.  Only one in a round about way turned me down.  Not bad hey.

    Networking Tip #2: Be yourself when meeting with experienced professionals. they want to know the whole you. Don’t let titles scare you!

    Networking Tip #3: If I ask I pay or if this is the first time me and this individual have met.  Additionally,  if the meeting goes well you will get a second meeting!  We are a pretty “keep it socially equal” type society which is awesome to social networking.  The “Hey I owe you lunch or coffee” subject is awesome from my perspective.

    Networking Tip #4: Build a connection hub for yourself and own your online presence!  Where your at is mine.  All my other profiles point back to this one and I point this to my most prominent digital landscape.  This way people can explore everything about me, but they get the 3D personality in real life

    Networking Tip #5: Set up Google Alerts for your email addresses and name to be notified when it is used online.

    Networking Tip #6: Use Twitter to connect with really interesting, action oriented, passionate people.  Even better if you do not know them. Start a conversation and engage to build that relationship.  I find this community has the lowest barrier to connect and start a conversation, which is key when finding people from your industry vertical or not.

    Networking Tip #7: In the course of meeting someone live or online (encourage both as a strategy) they offer up a name you should talk with or meet, politely ask for an introduction.  When this social capital exchange happens, good indicator it is going well or it did go well!

    Networking Tip #8: Call people when you have not connected in a while. Call them for no reason at all. Facebook.com has a darn nice Phonebook (you should go check it out).  Maybe call to line up schedules for that first meet up.  Personally I have been doing more of this especially with DM’s on twitter or @replies with questions.

    Networking Tip #9: Put some time into profile Bio within all your accounts you have established. This is your 30sec commercial for yourself. It also helps people know who you are.  Make sure to follow have the link back to #4.

    Networking Tip #10: Organize your Facebook contacts into groups that make sense to you. This makes for targeted communications fast. If you have not started start today and keep up while you add new contacts.

    Networking Tip #11: Find the Fan Pages you are passionate about and invite others to join these fan pages.  It is right under the logo on the Fan Page.  This creates the “Like” in the News Feed and people start making connections this way.

    Networking Tip #12: Use your Lists for organizing your signal on twitter!  Especially useful on a mobile app to be able to go to a certain list and scroll and scan the information to engage and make connections with.

    Networking Tip #13: There are plenty of events to go to in any town, start going to them!  Regardless of membership or being in your industry.  When you sign up for these events tell everyone you are going.  Then when at an event meet at least 2 new people.  I know this sounds corny, but if you talk to the same people online as well as offline, I feel you are missing out.

    Networking Tip #14: My last tip and this one I think is the best one and love doing this all the time.  When you see two, three or even four people you know that don’t know each other and should (of course insert biased opinion here) introduce them!  Or if people want to meet some one you know you use the reverse of #7.  I personally do this all the time and for me it feels good to connect people!

    So I hope this helps it you were wondering how to make the book you just read become reality.  My best advice for social networking is that it is an on going experiment.  Being curious, wanting to connect, wanting to learn, wanting to create, wanting to improve and wanting help will be key behaviors to an on going successful experiment within social networking.

    Oh and one final thought “Go forth and Cross Pollinate those Verticals” – @keithprivette

  3. Now that was a discussion Thank You caribouchat13

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    I had such a wonderful morning with a great group of people and  I wanted to share a LOT more than 140 characters.  I was invited to attend #caribouchat13 this morning thru a twitvite from Sarah Kay Hoffman.  She wanted to meet me IRL, so she made a point to make sure I got the invite (love these invites).  I don’t know how the other 12 went, but I had an absolute blast sharing, connecting, and meeting this group of people this morning.

    I would like to thank @gialyons  @asquibb  @warehousemedia  @socialnicole  @bobstanke  @sarahkayhoffman  @JasonSandquist  @joelecarlson and special guest appearance via Skype from the UK @mngurl1183 for putting the rest of my day on cloud nine and energizing me to tackle just about anything!

    The social dynamic was awesome! We did a little roundtable introducing ourselves, so people got to know who each one of us are aside from our twitter handles.  I have a greater appreciation for people’s perspective based on the live version of themselves versus the bio and link!  Then since we all have some way or another shared experiences, emotions, information, connection we started talking…..no real format, no real structure, no real rules. It equaled total awesomeness (I don’t know if that is even a word, who cares that is how I feel).

    • Justin Ware shared about his venture into freelancing work doing some cool things with media and video
    • Anna Squibb shared the awesome things she has going on at www.caringbridge.com (they are hiring!!!!)
    • Gia Lyons shared the awesome stories what she has going on at Jive Software www.jivesoftware.com (personally big fan especially for #scrm space)
    • Jason Sandquist shared about people looking for him via google and some search are quite funny!
    • Bob Stanke shared even though the commute not the best (same for Jason) would not trade because company works for www.lifetimefitness.com
    • Joel Carlson gave us some background about twitterviews and what his is in the market looking to do.
    • Nicole Harrison shared about consulting about social media to non-profits and challenges of teenagers and social media (you do have a permanent record)
    • Sarah Hoffman shared about some upcoming potential jobs and working on some studies about GenZ (kids that are 1 or 2 now or not even born what is tech and social going to affect how they see the world.  FASCINATING!)

    All of these introductions spurred some many different conversations about kids, family, work, RV’ing (Go figure), clients, who is using what, where and who is hiring, who I can connect you with.  All things in a group discussion that makes me happy.  The best part I felt there was going to be real action taken based on this conversation, that is the best part.  I know I am scheduling some lunches and connecting on some initiatives!

    There was such honesty and genuineness to our conversations it was like we had known each other for years.  That is one of the social dynamics I see flowing from online to offline is the genuine connectedness in our communication.  We share, we care, we understand, we listen, we communicate with no barriers.  The tail of the relationship is I feel much longer these days.  It is not just the every three to six month lunch, well it is that, but so much happens relationship wise in between there to stay connected based on being socially connected online as well.  I wish every meeting, every project, every problem could be solved and acted upon like this group came together this morning.

    The other thing I saw in our communication was the willingness to help connect people to jobs, so those doubters that say social media can’t find me a job, it is maybe true to a point, but it sure can help you find the people that can find you a job.  Four of the individuals were looking for a more permanent job solutions and right away without hesitation people started sharing their connections, it was about as fast as you can fire off 140 characters!  That was one of the best displays of human connectedness I had seen in a long time!  Give yourself a pat on the back for sharing and trying to help someone else out today (you know who you are!)

    So I just wanted to say thank you to all the folks above for truly making this a wonderful day! Thank you Sarah and Bob for having 12 of these and inviting me to the 13th.  I look forward to more and more of these #caribouchat meetings!  I also look forward to scheduling some one on one coffees or lunches with you also.  Clear your August I am taking a day!

    Thank you also to Katie Little @mngurl1183 that skyp’d in from the UK to join the discussion.  That was AWESOME! Distance be damned! I was able to use my new #evo with mifi and my laptop for a full livestream thru skype.  Thanks Sprint, HTC, Sony Vaio, and Skype for making that possible!

    ps We also ran into Sarah Smith @SarahResults! So nice to have these encounters happen also!

    pss.  This is my very 1st post on this website, been under construction for a while.  I just might become more than a microblogger and comment leaver!  We will see.  I do believe this will be more me and www.pullingtin.com will become more outdoors adventures…who knows, I want to keep it loose but with purpose to share, connect, discuss, or help!  Tell me what you think drop a comment.

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