Follow-up posts are more difficult to write than the initial post.
That wasn’t really something I picked up at TribeUp NYC. I just needed a headline there. And it’s no less true for all that I attributed the lesson to the wrong people.
It’s hard to wade through my handwritten notes and find one single point to focus on. I have pages and pages of quotes and shit, but since I didn’t type them up, it’s not like I can reframe them into some semblance of order.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 1:
Nope. Still just a worthless headline.
It’s Tuesday and my tiny pea brain is still reeling from the weekend. Because I went to a rave and got blasted!
Just kidding. This isn’t a hangover.
Well, I mean, it kind of *IS* a hangover, but not a drug or alcohol induced hangover. It’s more like I’m in an information stupor.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 1:
I learned so goddamn much at the Triberr meetup last Saturday, I am suffering from overload. There are a krillion take-aways I want to apply immediately, which is nigh on impossible, obviously, because I don’t do all that coding and blog-posting shit. That stuff all falls into the realm of my hubz. And he is at work. So I’m sitting here eagerly awaiting his return so we can get started.
“I’m sorry, Darling. You don’t get to eat dinner because I need you to employ all my blog changes immediately. No, you may NOT pee first. Sit down and get busy. Make it snappy!”
That approach probably won’t work. Fuck.
Okay, I’m just gonna jump in here and tell you what I learned. If I miss anything, it’s not like I can’t revisit this again later. It’s *MY* blog. Duh. I can do whatever I want. Dumb-dumb.
The following lessons are gleaned from Geoff “I think I’m an asshole” Livingston. PS – He isn’t an asshole. He’s pretty fucking cool.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 1:
“Serve your customers, and serve them well,” Geoff said. “Suit up and show up.”
What this means to me: Arrive at the office (my desk, okay? Stay with me here) daily, rain or shine, in sickness and in health. Don’t call off. Sit your ass down and do the fucking work. And make it good, while you’re at it.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 2:
“Only bloggers subscribe to other bloggers’ RSS feeds,” Geoff said. “Triberr is networking in its finest form.”
What this means to me: Make an effort to talk to people one-on-one. Turn online relationships into real life relationships, whether via email, phone, or a get-together over coffee. People won’t hear you if you don’t make some noise.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 3:
Have a Personality.
“Open up about the way you think and feel,” Geoff said. “Be a human being, not a brand.”
What this means to me: Keep it real, yo! Be honest and trust that your readers want to know who you are. Remaining aloof never won you any fans, right? So jump into the fray and have some fun!
TribeUp NYC Lesson 4:
Blogging is Competition.
“Find what people aren’t doing well, and do that, only better,” Geoff said. “Write to cut against the grain. Differentiate yourself.”
What this means to me: Find a way to NOT be like every other goofball out there attempting to write their way to the top. I need to add more kickass dialogue into the mix, because that’s my forte. Also? It’s awesome when I go way off topic and talk about boots or some other random eyeball calendar notebook placemat ice cream. –> see? That shit works. That’s me. Nobody else would even TRY to do that shit. #Statue … #JustSayin
TribeUp NYC Lesson 5:
Be Okay with Evolution.
“For most blog readers, their first access to media is via their phone. Let that guide your writing,” Geoff said. “One sentence paragraphs used to be wrong. For blogging, one sentence paragraphs are okay. Stay present and prescient.”
What this means to me: Be okay with change, especially if it means keeping up with new trends in technology. Don’t be static. Move to the tune of whatever song plays next. Grow, and keep growing. Be prepared to blow with the winds of change.
But, you know, in a non-sell-out kind of way. So for me to suddenly develop an interest in, say, Pinterest? Never gonna happen. And I’m not going to beat myself up about it, either. Because there’s keeping up with the times, and there’s being true to yourself. Only YOU can find that line.
*** TribeUp NYC Lesson INTERLUDE:
Take Potty Breaks. ***
Complete off topic, but slightly related if you hang with me a sec — my new favorite artist is Amanda Palmer and I’m disillusioned that I’ve only just this past weekend begun listening to her. I feel stupid about it, seriously left behind in the world of all-that-is-cool. Because she fucking rocks.
The song I’ve been listening to over-n-over again is “Point of it All”. One line observes, “You’ve got the needle,” which in this particular context means that people can give you advice and lead you different directions, but whichever path you take — what thread you choose to follow — is completely up to you.
Back to class, kids!
The following lessons are gleaned from Lena “plant your flag” West.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 6:
Decide NOW whether you are “interested” or “committed”.
“Get your mind in the game. You gotta have confidence,” Lena said. “Don’t run a business based on emotion or you’re already dead.”
What this means to me: This is a nice reiteration of Geoff’s admonition to “suit up and show up”. If this is a hobby, then it’s okay for me to skip a day now and again. If I’m only doing this for fun, then it’s okay for me to go off schedule, or waste time on things that don’t get me where I want to be. And that’s fine. But don’t be surprised when you don’t get very far with your bloggy-blog.
“Guard your input to stay on your game.”
The super-fabulous Janine Truitt passed on a similar diamond when we chatted about our mutual dislike of FaceBook: “I just can’t be bothered.”
So I deep-sixed some shit and won’t waste another second on input that isn’t adding value to my family or my blog. I don’t have time to waste on things I resent. I just can’t be bothered.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 7:
Plant Your Flag.
“This is about a dialogue, a conversation,” Lena said. “Don’t be afraid to pick a stance. If you’re in the middle of the road, you’re getting hit by a car. What are you willing to say?”
What this means to me: Don’t worry about right or wrong. Worry about being wishy-washy. Most of my posts are extremely opinionated, so typically this isn’t a problem for me. A couple, however, did lie on the median, because I really could see both angles in the situation. So my hubz asked me, “Are you trying to be a reporter? Or a blogger?” He and Lena are right. My blog records opinion pieces. If I don’t have an opinion about something, it has no place on my blog. Duh. Won’t happen again, I assure you!
TribeUp NYC Lesson 8:
Select Tools Wisely.
“Just do the thing you’re good at,” Lena said. “Either it will resonate or it won’t. Be okay with that.”
What this means to me: More permission to avoid Pinterest (thank you, Lena!). Images just aren’t my fucking bag, baby. Also? No more personal finance, no more book reviews, no more grown-up boring bullshit that doesn’t feel fun to write. They aren’t what I’m good at. And moreover, the numbers show it. Not sure why I resisted this for so long, but it sure isn’t a problem anymore!
TribeUp NYC Lesson 9:
Map Your Content.
“You must create content to feed the beast, or the beast will go elsewhere,” said Lena. “Get ahead of your content.”
What this means to me: Get out a calendar. Decide what topics or themes will be published on which days. Write that shit down on your calendar. Plan individual blog posts accordingly. Then write the fucking posts and schedule them so that you are not constantly posting something at the last minute.
Might better be phrased thus: Don’t be a lazy dumb-dumb, Andi-Roo.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 10:
Manage Your Time and Resources.
“Time is not money. You can lose money and make it back. Once you lose time, it’s lost for good. There’s no way to get time back,” Lena said. “Who has access to you and for how long? Get clear about how you use your time. Discern and use judgment.”
What this means to me: There is some crazy ass drama in my personal life that I’ve been trying to break away from. This lesson right here was the validation I needed to take a step away from anything which isn’t adding to my path. I hold the needle, right? No more nonsense, not in person, on the phone, via email or FaceBook, or in any other format. “I just can’t be bothered”. Goddamn, I love that phrase. I’ve got better things to do with my time than waste it in senseless arguments, worthless blogs, or trivial conversations that only go in circles.
TribeUp NYC Lesson 11:
Monitor Your Metrics and Your Reputation.
“Pay attention to your numbers even if they don’t make sense,” said Lena. “They will eventually. Also, set up a Google alert for your name and blog name.”
What this means to me: Well, I think the instructions say it all. So I’m going to start doing just that.
TribeUp NYC Lesson12:
You Need Accountability.
“You cannot build what you want in a vacuum,” said Lena. “You must find an accountability partner. I call mine every morning at 8am. Every day.”
What this means to me: I’m pretty lucky in that my hubz serves as my accountability partner. When I fuck up, I’m letting him down. When I get lazy, I’m not just harming myself, I’m harming him, too. Because this isn’t just *MY* bloggy-blog. It belong to both of us. And truthfully, he does way more work on it than I do. It’s not that I answer to him, per se… but he is billed as my content manager, so to some degree, I guess YEAH, he’s kind of my boss. And I like that guy, so it sucks to disappoint him. That keeps me focused on what I’m supposed to be doing.
*** TribeUp NYC Lesson INTERLUDE: Take ANOTHER Potty Break. ***
Because this recap will continue on Thursday. I’d do it tomorrow, but that will be my “What’s Up Wenzday” series and I hate to disrupt my skadoolie more than I already have. So go pee, eat some ice cream, and meet back here tomorrow. And then Thursday. And then Friday. You know what? Meet back here ALL THE DAYS.