Community #Reverb10

Thoughts flood my mind. My heart races. I am filled with passion and have so much to say that I almost can’t stand it. I write posts and wake up to find I dreamed them. This is one such.

wikispaces.com - community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?”

This prompt, as I said to Cali, is my favourite so far. I live to connect, commune and create.

I wanted to write this post SO much that instead of an hour, it took me 2 days. I spent those 2 days reading other posts, sharing & commenting on them. Kinda fitting, ay 🙂

Community.

It is 4pm.

The doorbell rings.

Outside stand 2 friends of my mom’s who’ve decided to drop by for a cuppa. I say hello & she welcomes them in with smiles and animated surprise. As I brew tea, they all sink their bodies comfortably into the sofas and draw their feet up.

Stories start. So and so’s child is going to engineering school, someone else’s sister is getting married, my health issues are finally getting better, life is so unpredictable, life is so beautiful, so what are your plans darling?

A couple of hours go by. There are smiles, laughter, head shakes. And then they leave.

Full.

Satiated.

I grew up in a magical community where no one called before dropping by, where I’d come home from school one day to ecstatically find my favourite uncle was on leave from the Army and had surprised us with a visit.

To be even more ecstactic to know he’d be staying with us for a month.

Many tears were shed as he left.

Community.

I wake up in the morning, log onto facebook. I speed through the updates on my home page, over 1000 friends with so much to say. As I click a few interesting links, I simultaneously open a few more browsers.

Twitter.

Facebook.

Email.

Good Vibe University.

My blog.

Skype.

I tweet, read, blog, write, comment, respond, laugh, roll my eyes, skim, skip, get enamoured. I chat with a few friends on facebook here, a skype call with another there.

Community.

There are many. Some that I found last year, some this year, and all that I want to deepen connections with in 2011.

CTI

Coaches Training Institute, where I trained & certified as a Coach.

A community of inspired, fabulous beings dedicating their lives to something bigger than them. The support, camaraderie and connection is furthered every time I assist a course for them.

Martha Beck Community

One I love so much that I’m a self proclaimed honorary member and predisposed to fall in love with all MB coaches. One day I might do the actual coach training, just because.

Unconventional Entrepreneurs & Travellers

I’ve been an unconventional traveller, leading from the heart for over 13 years. It took me till this year, when I found myself drawn to these incredibly passionate, off beat and lifestyle leaders, all living lives their way, full of courage & integrity, to understand that I didn’t want to be like them, I WAS them.

I’m Home.

Wealthy Thought Leaders

A phenomenal tribe of leaders and game changers that I met in March 2010 in Vancouver. The privilege of meeting and connecting with these people alone was worth the price of admission. Every day, I continue to learn from them and their insights.

Coffee with Coaches

When I tried for 2 years to get the local CTI community going and wasn’t getting far with it, I started my own Coffee with Coaches group so we could meet in person, learn from and support each other twice a month.

This then led to a Talkshoe series with coach Tanya Geisler, a CTI & Twitter community friend, so that non Vancouver coaches could join us. I’d love to pick it up again in 2011 and have more coaches join us.

BlogChat

Every Sunday from 6-7pm PST, hosted by @MackCollier. Community, blogging, learning. This is a lot of fun and very informative, my top #tag chat pick.

Reverb10

Just when I thought it cldn’t get any better, along came #reverb10 and the “vanguard of blogging bravery” as I call the 3000+ bloggers, now participating in daily reflection, writing, sharing, supporting and loving.

You.

You, who are reading and by doing so, becoming a part of the community at Your Life YOUR Way. Every comment, every email you write, has an impact. On me, on others. Thank you for your time, presence and contribution. Keep sending those ripples out k?

Faces have changed, the way we connect has changed.

But still, it remains.

Community.

I wanted to end this with a few quick tips about creating an online community as so many #reverb10ers have amazing content to share but are unknowingly stopping a community from forming on their blogs.

Quick Tips to Creating a Blog Community (or, warm, happy pigs instead of crickets)

1) Allow comments that require just a name and url instead of the default setting that only allows fellow wordpress/blogger or open ID and google sign ups on blogger.com or wordpress.com sites. The more complicated it is for someone to leave a comment, the faster someone will just click away.

2) Use the comment notification plugin so every time you reply to a comment, an email automatically gets sent to the original commentor so they can come back and respond if they want. This way, you ensure that the conversation continues.

3) Ask questions. In your posts, in comments, create a poll. What do your readers think? What do they want? What do they feel? How can you help them? Respond to comments – you’re hosting this gig, would you have people over and then not talk to them? Same.

4) Easy navigation. Many sites have SO much going on in terms of widgets, blog posts, buttons, badges, blogrolls, social media icons etc that readers can get overwhelmed and leave without commenting. Besides, where’s YOU in the midst of all that noise?

5) Make it readable. Nix the white font on dark background put-a-fork-in-my-eye design you’ve got going. Why would I stick around to read and give myself a headache in the process, unless you’re my mom?

6) Get out of your blog. You wouldn’t have a party without inviting others, right? Not visiting other blogs and commenting or creating relationships with other writers is the blogging equivalent. If you want people to come to your party, you’ve got to invite them. And go to theirs!

7) Let them hear your VOICE. Inject personality into everything you write. There are over 20million blogs floating around, the only thing that’s going to have people hanging around yours, is if you have a distinctive voice that is totally YOU.

There you go, something you can start doing today.

I’d love to hear how do you create community online & offline. And if you enjoyed this post, do share it, thanks!

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Comments

  1. says

    I also grew up in a time & place where people didn’t always call before they dropped by, and I loved it. My mom was always ready with a cake and a pot of coffee. I miss those times.

    Thanks for the tips on creating a blog community. That’s something I’m going to be more conscientious about in the New Year.

    • says

      I dream of having that community again Cindy. High rise apartment living isn’t really my style although it’s exciting for a while.

      I will say that my online communities have enriched my life in ways I never thought possible. But at the same time, I try to take as many of those IRL as I can, thru chats, calls, in person meetings where possible..

      Glad you enjoyed the tips, if you have any questions at all gimme a shout, k? See you around, thanks for being the 1st to comment 🙂

  2. says

    What a lovely, inspiring acknowledgement of community. Says so much about who you are Tia. It’s truly appropriate that your Twitter name includes the word sparkles, because you do.

    xoS

    • says

      ((((((Sandi)))))) Thank you Sandi, you always know how to make me feel fabulous! That says a lot about YOU and your encouraging, thoughtful ways. I can’t wait to meet you in person, what say a coffee down at Cafe Artigianno soon?

  3. says

    I am so glad you came to my blog and commented. Thank you thank you for your kind words.

    I loved this post – so many great things about community. I can see why it took you some time to write. I wish more people could just stop by like they did when we were growing up. I never had to plan a “playdate” or coordinate when I’d see my friends.

    I’m really looking forward to reading more from you.

    The twitter plug in is “twitterlink comments”

    • says

      Thank you! I just added the plugin, for the life of me I cldn’t figure out the name and I’d asked a few weeks earlier on twitter but got no responses. Yay, I’m twitter linkified now and it’s all thanks to YOU! It was an absolute pleasure to read your post, glad to have met you, Adorable Amy and even gladder that you’ll be bacckkkk. Happy #reverbing!

      ps: we may not stop by IRL as much but hey, let’s stop by digitally! Not the same but also quite fun 😀

  4. says

    This post positively sings, well, POSITIVELY. Community is so clearly such a core value of yours, and while many of us crave the communion that it brings, so many of us grapple with helping create it. This is NOT your situation. I am so grateful that I found you…via a couple of channels you have cited.

    I am also grateful for the supremely practical tips you have shared on how to make our blogs more inviting. Because, really, crickets are far inferior to happy, jolly piggies.

    XO
    TG

    • says

      I’m thinking it’s really more for me that I do it, but thank you for the beautiful acknowledgement swee’pea. I still remember the 1st time we talked on the fone – your exuberant hello and excitement at connecting with me blew me away. I was surprised that someone could be THAT excited to talk to me and then, actually EXPRESS it.. I probably fell in love with you that instant.

      You make this world a better place.

      <3 forever.

    • says

      Sweet! Thank YOU for starting & so brilliantly hosting the series Mack. It’s a testament to how well you create community that so many hundreds of people eagerly wait for sunday evening 🙂 You ROCK!!

  5. says

    i am playing catch-up and glad i dropped by your community post. i LOVE what you shared – it’s a great mini-walk through the patchwork of communities that one has to enrich one’s soul. thanks so much for sharing – and for sharing the great tips for creating community!

    • says

      I love doing this so much Shirley! And look at the fantastic people coming out to play here, people like you with your cute purple face 😉 What’s your favourite way to create community online? Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Susan says

    Thank you Tia– Often being housebound due physical health issues, I appreciate your links to online communities. Isolation is never good and there is a world of acceptance and community online. It has helped me appreciate that the world is still big inside my little home. And, many thanks for adding me to your reverb10 list. Grateful, and thankful to be appreciated!

    • says

      Susan, many people who are healthy and fit don’t know how to create or be a part of a community so I’d say you’re doing well to realise that you can have a supportive, loving and fun community no matter what your situation.

      It all starts with intention. With deciding what you want, and then taking inspired action to get it. You know the best part of online communities? That you can take them further if you choose. Skype video calls, meeting in person, fone calls, emails – so many ways to build real lasting relationships, endless opportunities!

      Yw, I’m creating the #reverb10 list so I can tap into this wonderful new community that’s birthing and you are a part it.

  7. says

    I really love how you painted the picture and then gave us the step-by-step, the “how to paint by numbers,” if you will.

    The image of people stopping by, unannounced, for coffee and conversation, is so perfect too. It’s gone, the time when people could do that on a regular basis but being on Twitter, getting a DM or a shout out in the middle of the day … that’s exactly what it feels like. The mid-afternoon drop in.

    • says

      Glad you liked it Noel 🙂 There’s a lot I could say about creating blog communities and I will, this was just a Coles Notes version. And I *heart* how you likened social media interactions to mid afternoon drop ins, ooooooh what a lovely analogy.

      Good to hear from you, thanks & come back again!

  8. says

    Hi Tia!
    From what it sounds like, we grew up with the same community/background 🙂
    It only dawned on me later in life, as I grew up and met people outside of my community and with different backgrounds and experiences,how special it really was: the spontaneous gatherings, the tea-times that would turn into impromptu dinners and so on. Like you mentioned, I now find myself turning to new places to capture even a part of that feeling, and blogs like yours are a gem. I feel like I’ve joined a community!
    Sandy

    • says

      Yay Sandy!! I feel totally exhilerated with “blogs like yours are a gem. I feel like I’ve joined a community!” yes, yes, yes, this is just why I do what I do 🙂 THANK you for saying & seeing that, and for being a part of it.

      Communities get created by like minded people with similar interests and values. No one person can do it alone so I really treasure your presence. Look forward to knowing you better, cheers n mo beers x

  9. says

    Ohhhh I like to travel too 🙂 I may have a traditional sort of desk job, but with lots of vacation time and all I seem to wander around quite a bit. Where do you go most often? For what reasons? And how…?

    • says

      Hello cheeky! I guess that’s my name for you now 😉 I love going back to Queenstown, NZ where I spent 4 years livin’ la vida loca. My next trip is to Argentina, for about 3 months.

      I don’t travel as much as I just go LIVE in places. So I spent 2 years in Atlanta, 4 years in NZ, 2.5 years in Canada, and want to live in South America for a year. I like sinking into the culture of places and people instead of doing fly by visits.

      And I LOVE warm places, give me summer any day.

      What aboutchu?

      • says

        Awesome, new nickname!!

        Alright so I understand Atlanta, NZ, South America…. but what in the dickens are you doing in Canada if you like summer?!?!?! That just sounds sooooo cold.

        Do you have any rhyme or reason to the places you live? I tend to move around a bit, but usually either for school, to follow family, or a job. I think I’d like to move around to more countries, but I stay put because being close to family is too important to me.

        • says

          😛 Long story! Summed up as: Immigration, family, passport, easier travel. Got tons of family here, my bro, aunts, uncles, cuzzies etc.

          I’ve gone to places like Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore etc on visits. But the big moves, they have been totally random thanks to making mad, spontaneous decisions. I follow my fun & sense of adventure 🙂

          For example, I went to Atlanta in 2000 to attend a friend’s wedding. Trip was to be 2 weeks, I missed her wedding by a day cos of visa issues. ONce there, asked a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of her brother’s if anyone was looking to hire and recommened me. Oh my word!!

          2 years of the biggest party of my life in the ATL followed. Then a friend of a friend and soon my friend, won a free trip to NZ and talked me into moving with her. She lasted 6 months, I stayed 4 years. I was going to stay 2 and then head to South America but I fell in love 🙂

          So now, the SA dream is back and chomping at my heels. No matter where I go, my mom follows for a visit and I’m on skype with family at least 1-2 times a week.

          If you could pick a country to live in apart from the US, where would you go?

  10. says

    The time spend on social media has increased a lot in the recent time and stats say that it will increase more! This is one of the main reasons, why bigger to smaller, non-profit, political campaigns, everyone are focusing on social network publicity. I believe, we should always focus on creating a powerful content when we updated/tweet information on web 2.0 sites about our business/personal because Content is the key point to be crafted to understand the behavior of members in your community. So be sure to be creative and natural to stand out of the crowd/community. 🙂

    • says

      Well said Mark! Great content + social media can help you create a strong community. People are of the opinion “have something extra-ordinary to say”. I think more than that though, say what you’re saying with PASSION and full engagement.

      Thanks for sharing your tips!

  11. says

    I just wish it was deeper and just a tad more satisfying. The sense of community… the communication [I mean] Just like it was in the old days… like it is/was with your mom’s friends. Social media runs so fast and shallow. Yes we can make friends… but beyond that people don’t [generally] have time to kick back and delve deep. It was a beautiful time for humanity when things moved slower and people mattered more. Just saying. And maybe that is my Reverb right there! LOL

    Thanks for the reminder Tia… and for the tips as well so very well thought out and written. It is singularly the most frustrating thing to not be able to leave a comment. Also I wondered for a long time about my white on purple background… but I’ve decided I like it. It suits my paintings… and I’ve decided anyone who doesn’t like purple wouldn’t like me [or what I had to say] anyway (((chuckles))) Thanks again!

    • says

      Lady you make me smile 🙂 I do love what you have to say and I love purple so I read your stuff (if it was a black background I’d still love it but from afar cos my eyes really can’t take that combination).

      And what I love even more is that you’re saying sod conventional wisdom, I’m going to do it MY way. That makes you TRES cool in my book, you unconventional entrepreneur, you! Hmm.. don’t you think that if you and I feel this way, so many thousands do as well?

      There’s got to be a way to create the sort of community we all long for, even though that isn’t a substitute for in person contact. I once had the tinychat video feature on my site wherein anyone could call in if you saw I was online and have a chat. Not sure why I got rid of it, it didn’t load properly I think.

      So what would make the digital connection experience more satisfying for you? I’d love to explore how we could bring more community into our online lives, and create real connections. So far all I have is – authenticity, sharing, openness, courage & taking it IRL (in real life).

      Somewhere over the rainbow, the answer is waiting to be formed 🙂 Thanks for sparking off these thoughts!

    • says

      And I enjoy seeing you here, Vinita. May I just say, yours are the most CREATIVE and beautiful (as I said on your blog) posts I’ve seen in #reverb10 – your photos tell stories. Thanks for being you and doing it your way 🙂

      • says

        Wow..Thank you so much for the encouragement..I’ve been struggling to bring out the next 5 prompts with images. Your kind words just gave me the nudge to go on! Thank you once again!

        • says

          So welcome Vinita! It makes me happy that my words inspire you in some little way, yay. I see from tweets that I’m not the only one who loves your work – you have an audience lapping it up so unleash that creative genius and let her play 😀 x

    • says

      Aww the feeling is so mutual hun 🙂 I’m thinking Cowgory in Janooary now. Really, knowing that you’re there is half the draw to visiting so thanks for the open offer!

      ps: loving the POwter, I reckon you’re the POWter!

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