Yesterday, I had the pleasure to sit down with my friends Darren Rowse and Brian Clark. The last time the three of us sat quietly was in 2008 or 2009 when we launched the Third Tribe group (ah, memories). I joked that I wanted to bring that back and we could call it Sixth Tribe. You know, Third Tribe 2.0. Alas.
Content Will Never Be King
The conversation was brief, fun, and sprinkled with some melancholy about the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Darren is thriving with his Problogger events and his Digital Photography School. Brian is running Copyblogger Media, which is now a software company instead of a blog about how to write better (Hey Brian – my offer stands). We talked about how the “industry” has changed, and how lots of folks have found it hard to figure out their path. In all, there are no great insights for me to share with you. We were three people who share a professional admiration and whatever kind of friendship we can scrape together when one barely sees or talks to the other but where we like each other’s company.
Content got us there, but it’s not what makes us kings.
A Ship of Stars
Last night, I attended the Social Media Marketing World mixer event aboard the U.S.S. Midway. I got to meet people I love and admire, people like Tania Shipman (one of 50 people who came from Australia to this event). I got to talk with smart people seeking ways to make a difference, like Adrion Porter, who wants to start a movement for Gen X people (I thought of my friend, Elizabeth Kanna, who is in the movement business).
I got to talk a bit with friends and people I’d done great work with in my life, career-making work, like Justin Levy who ran New Marketing Labs with me (he points out that I’d fly around and sell the dream and he’d do all the work), and my PodCamp cofounder Christopher S Penn, who I love dearly and fear deeply.
I spoke far too briefly with legendary people I call friends like Mark W. Schaeffer and Jay Baer (authors of two of my favorite books in 2014 and 2015), and Guy Kawasaki, and Peg Fitzpartrick and my shenanigans mate Joel Comm, and on and on and on and on. Martin Shervington and Tim Hayden and…
Content Is Just the Campfire
When it comes to belonging, content is the campfire that lets us gather around (if you do it right). Content is that thing that gets us together, that lets us see eye to eye, that helps us find like-mindedness, etc. Content is the start of a journey but it’s all about the people and who we meet, and then what we do.
It’s about inclusiveness and helping and finding people and talking deeply and feeling that love that doesn’t need all these words.
Sitting across the table in a quiet room with Michael Stelzner on the day before his big crazy Social Media Marketing World, I mused on the fact that I’m not here because of social media. I’m here because of Michael. Because in two different conversations, he kept me alive over the last few years, and that my speaking and mingling and being here at all is a small attempt to pay back some of my thanks for that.
Whatever I say on stage today will be words about technology and marketing and business. But what I’m thinking about is love and connections and the chance to serve and connect. That’s why I’m here. And it’s the best way to make the world sing a better song.