Keys To Being Social: Be Friendly

Sometimes my blog posts end up being confessions of my failures and this one is no exception. Perhaps epitomes visit me more frequently after a failing.


I was invited to the media preview for the Festival of Arts Pageant of the Masters (#FestivalPageant) June 2, 2014. Though I recognized many people there, I froze. I could not muster up the strength to “say hello to others.” A kindly friend came and teased me a bit about hiding and went back to his group. My sister and mom texted me through that event and I focused on tweeting and enjoying the art.


That weekend, I went to Orange County WordCamp with friends Carol Stephen and Peter Woolvett. Being in a group, it felt much easer to greet others, especially when Peter or Carol did it first.

Saying hello to others can be difficult; especially if you’re feeling unsure of yourself. But with a little bit of help and prompting from other friends, it’s made even easier. Being a receiver of the greeting helps, too.

While waiting for opening remarks right before Chris Lema’s blogging class, we met @Student_OTC. He was a bit surprised that we three had met on Twitter and this year was our second WordCamp together. We got to learn that he’s a web developer somewhat new to WordPress and it was nice to be able to make him feel more welcomed, too.

During those opening remarks, I looked behind me and saw @JenBlogs4U whom I met earlier at Social Media Mastermind OC. Not wanting to interrupt, I sent her a hello Tweet. Later in the day, we ended up sitting behind her and I was able to both say hello and introduce her to Carol.

Carol and I also waved to and met Aaron Hockley whose blog post “Ultimate Guide: Conference Tips and Hacks” was helpful to read. Carol brought a power strip (aka friend maker) to the conference from that post and we were glad to use it. Read more Keys To Being Social: Be Friendly

If you don’t value yourself, no one else will – Insights from Alex J. Vasquez at WordCamp OC 2014


What comes to mind? Is it the $1 menu at your favorite quick service restaurant? Is it the cave full of jewels in Desolation of Smaug? Or is it just as simple as a fair trade: money for services rendered?

It’s true that in the service sector, as opposed to the widget sector, price and value are often used interchangeably where the two parties often have differing definitions.

At WordCamp Orange County, Carol Stephen (read her “Awesome Moments” post) and I attended Alex J. Vasquez‘ talk called: “Valuing (and Pricing) Yourself as a Team.”

By the way, you know what blows me away about ? The humility of the speakers and that was demonstrated big time by Alex.

He had a way of speaking that was humble yet experienced. He wasn’t afraid to talk about mistakes or victories. That says a lot about the confidence of a person, especially one who believes we should be just as confident.

Although, I’m not a WordPress developer or even a freelancer, as an office manager for a commercial general contractor, I could not help but see the parallels during the talk. I was encouraged by it. Read more If you don’t value yourself, no one else will – Insights from Alex J. Vasquez at WordCamp OC 2014

You’re Not The Hero: Insights on Building Community by Chris Lema at WordCamp OC 2014

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.”

“Wind Beneath My Wings” by  Jeff Silbar, Larry Henley

In a storytelling mode, the speaker quiets the nervous yet excited chatter in the room within ten seconds as he leads into a story, bringing us in with every word, pause, and intentional inflection.

Until Saturday, I had only heard tales of the blogging Sherpa and WordPress guru, never yet experiencing the inspired smile or sitting next to a gaggle of mesmerized engineers.

The best part of the talk was being reinforced in everything I believe in. That is to say, be a generous person, focus on relationships, care for people, and the rest will follow.

“The hero of the story I’m participating in is not me.” Chris Lema

There is a tendency for “experts” to pass on classes that cover topics “we experts” already “know,” discounting the power of reinforcement learning. Being reinforced by a total stranger who doesn’t owe you anything (emotionally or otherwise) is more powerful than you can imagine.

Do you want to get the most out of your blog?

You can watch the presentation on WordPressTV here.

Live Tweets:

Here are the tweets I sent out during the talk:

Read more You’re Not The Hero: Insights on Building Community by Chris Lema at WordCamp OC 2014

Keys to Being Social: Generosity

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J. R. R. Tolkien

Have you encountered a generous person online? They’re the ones who make you feel special, though they follow thousands or tens of thousands of people. How do they do it?

Often it’s more useful to define concepts by their opposites. Being selfish or stingy is regarded as anti-social behavior both online and off. Yet, this creature manifests itself brazenly on social media all of the time. It’s your inner me-me-me dragon.

It’s possible you haven’t intended to hold back but realize you’re not getting very much engagement. Is it because you post and go?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times:

If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend.

“…if you get on Twitter and you present yourself as a business with a reputation for helping others, guess what, the law of reciprocity is going to come back and help you at some point.”

Darren Slaughter, “Ten Ways Contractors Should Be Using but Aren’t

Tame the Stingy Dragon – Be a Generous Guru

Here are some ways to tame your inner dragon. Read more Keys to Being Social: Generosity

Leadership Through Following – A Twitter Strategy

“Leadership is a choice not a rank.”  Simon Sinek 

To follow or not to follow, that is the question and a highly debated topic.

Twitter is, in my opinion, the most public of all of the social networks. Though you can make your account private, unless you do, I feel that you should fully consider why I believe you should follow everyone* back.

It is in your following behavior that you demonstrate true leadership and, dare I say, the best way to grow your following.


Yes, there are #TeamFollowBack, #BirthdayClub, and #BuyMoreFollowers spam along with porn sites. Don’t follow them.


Yes. It is your Twitter feed. You are able to run it the way you choose. However, if you plan on tweeting for a business or for your professional life, I’d ask you to consider it fully. But if you want to be that guy who has 50,000+ followers and only follows 78, be my guest. If that’s you, you probably won’t like the rest of this article.


Yes, it is way easier to manage tweets from under a hundred people. Did you really think you’d read every single tweet? Just the thought of it makes me stressed out.

One of my favorite parts of Twitter is that reading the tweets is a low-commitment, easy-to-handle task. When I’m waiting at the doctor, or waiting for my boss to sign checks, or have a few moments to spare, I can read Twitter. It’s easy to start and easy to stop.


Generosity is a key attribute of leadership. We all respond well to those who give more than they take. And when they ask for favors (retweets, links, store purchases) many of us are happy to oblige. We’re your biggest fans, so why not follow back?

Another form of generosity is spending 5-10 minutes a day in your home feed and responding to those people. Sage advice from Scott Stratten I saw years ago. I do it daily. Guess what? I meet new people. (Imagine that!)

Read more Leadership Through Following – A Twitter Strategy