The 7 Connective Practices of a Tribe – How To Build and Support Shared Plans

Screen shot 2010 02 24 at 7.03.42 AM The 7 Connective Practices of a Tribe   How To Build and Support Shared Plans

(This post has been rewritten since the original response to the first TEDxAustin.)

In a week or so the hash-tag of your conference (#TEDxAustin, #SXSW, #SXSWi) will be a ghost town. You can keep your vivid emotions and connective feelings alive through deliberate practice. And by joining with other from that event or cause, you can grow your tribe, supporting each other to remember the truth of the collective dream.

So what is it that we can do to build our web of connectivity so that we don’t have to disconnect?

7 Connective Practices (inspired by my participation in TEDxAustin, 2010)

1. We gathered, we shared, we exchanged glances, tears and contact information. (event)

2. In the afterglow of the event we came to realize that a power greater than ourselves could bring us to sanity. (affirmation)

3. As we began to reach out to our fellow TEDxAustin-ers we began to understand them better, we began to build connections beyond TEDx. (effort)

4. HERE’S THE TRICK: Through sustained effort and commitment, we colluded with others to make changes, we not only agreed to "stay close" we committed to concrete actions and re-gatherings. (commitment)

5. We continued to re-connect and re-commit on a regular basis. And we acted on the ideas and connective good we discovered. (fearlessly forward)

6. We ALL AGREED THAT cynicism = death. And that sarcasm, and sometimes well-meant humor, is a close cousin to the negativity and anti-light that is cynicism. (be a positive force)

7. FINALLY: We all move forward with plans and actions that bring us *closer* to each other and *a lot closer* to our calling. (self-examination and self-actualization)


I know for me Steven Tomlinson’s performance at TEDxAustin was a peak. And the reason was he called me from where I stood at that very moment. And reading the posts and inspirations that came out of TEDx, I know that many of my fellow TEDers had the same feeling. And then what happened? We went out into the RED Reception area and we DID BIG, we CONNECTED BIG, we FELT BIG.

So as you move more deeply into the next phases of your life, post-event-high, ask yourself if your action is towards or away from your connective purpose, or as Steven put it, "your calling." And from that perspective make a decision about your actions. Do that repeatedly, continuously. And listen to the answers. You MAY in many cases choose the action that is not in alignment with your "soul work" but your longing for the soul work will deepen. And the next time you are faced with that choice it might be an opportunity to grow.

One core principal of Steven’s talk was the relationship between calling and career. Even with all the best intentions, and hard work, we might not get where we want/need, or *think* we need to be, financially. And that is the gate that keeps many of us making the choices away from our passions. But the challenge is to BE BIGGER!

Grow, stretch and find a way to lean into the pain of NOT doing what you want to do.

BOTTOMLINE: Do what you have to do: a: to provide for yourself and your family; and b: to step towards rather than away from your dream. A tribe of people who are working towards the same can be your biggest support network.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)


[image of TEDxAustin courtesy of Kirk Tuck © 2010.]

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Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter

Screen Shot 2012 03 27 at 11.38.48 AM Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter

Back in the day, Twitter created LISTS and LISTS were good.

Then Formulists came along and the lists became full of auto-curated "auto-lists" and the LIST lost a lot of its magic.

Then Twitter almost demoted the list completely. Check your twitter page, can you find LISTS? And about 95% of the time I visit "Lists Subscribed To" the page is broken. And (this is a good thing) Twitter has removed the "XX-user is a member of 2,444 lists" stat, that was leading to more gaming. (Question: Would Twitter be a better place if they eliminated the Follower and Following counts from the system all together? It would probably be a lot less gamey.)

Today, I’m ready to declare that THE TWITTER LIST is BACK. Let me explain.

Now under the @Connect Tab are little mentions that look like this:

Screen Shot 2012 03 27 at 11.08.18 AM Twitter Lists: Recovering the Magic of Discovery on Twitter

The new @Connect TAB reinstates the power of the LIST. Now, when someone adds you to a LIST, they have manually included you in a group (theoretically of like-minded people) and perhaps you would be interested in the others in your new "included" group. And sure enough, a quick view of the list above, from 100pctSolutions and violá, there is a whole new group of people I ‘might’ like to follow.

In the world of Twitter Discovery (trying to find people who are of interest to your objectives) LISTS are invaluable. Now that the auto-lists company is gone, the value of the hand-curated LIST on Twitter is a great place to start looking for others to join in conversation.

And as I say all the time, Twitter is a two-way communication protocol. If you tweet something the good thing to do is actually BE ONLINE so you can respond to any RTs or conversations that get kicked off by your tweets.

I understand the "broadcast" mentality. I understand the tendency towards "scheduling your tweets," but I am against it. Maybe if I were DellFactoryOutlet and my revenue was proportionate to the number of tweets and responses I get during the course of each 24-hour cycle, but I’m not.

I am a person. I am an individual. I am part of the marketing/advertising complex that can make or break Twitter adoption and usage. And of course, I am not the Twitter police.

I believe in the philosophy, "I am here now." So if you catch me tweeting at 4am, it’s because I woke up early, or I haven’t gone to bed yet. Some of the conversations I have online in odd hours, via Twitter or Facebook or TXT… Well, we are all wanting to "connect." That’s what makes social media work. Being social.

If I use Buffer or Hootsuite to "broadcast" a promo tweet several times during the day and night, I’m merely couponing the twitterverse. It’s okay, it’s just not the way I hope to use and encourage the use of Twitter. I have my radical ideas. Auto-scheduled tweets are not part of them.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: The Twitter Way page for all the Twitter Ideas in one place.

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Crazy Little Thing Called Love: If You Can’t Say Something Nice… Well, Shout It

Screen shot 2010 01 16 at 4.49.52 AM Crazy Little Thing Called Love: If You Cant Say Something Nice... Well, Shout ItPeople call it going negative. Others understand that people don’t forward a boring email or promote a vanilla Pinterest PIN. Well, think about it, do you?

My motto has been, if you aren’t failing you aren’t learning. If you don’t lose followers on a regular basis, then they are not paying attention and you are not making yourself clear. I am not for everyone, call it an acquired taste; Like a David Letterman (the 80s – 90s version, before he got bitter and regretful) or the Onion, either you get me or you don’t. And if you don’t follow, that’s cool.

But… And here’s where the kid gloves come off: If you attack me (long form {comment} or short form {tweet}) be prepared to defend yourself. My weapons are facts, figures, references, documents, historical participation on social media sites like LINKEDIN, and mainly your own content. Like where you put your attention? What is it that you are constantly going on about?

I’ve done a bunch of posts on sentiment, or how negative am I really. And this past summer, I had a moment (five weeks) of silence where I contemplated exactly what I was going on about here. (and on facebook and twitter and google plus) And what I decided, and am aspiring to, is remaining exclusively on the positive side of the discussion. If I dish out criticism (Losing My Way on then I try also to offer the solution. (How To Fix – And Dell’s Branding Crisis) That’s my plan.

In general I am an up and happy person who shows up on the sunny side of things. Until I’m down. Then I see dark clouds overhead, I rant a bit, and I go dark myself and don’t surface for days.

THE BIG A-HA: in social media it doesn’t really matter if your right. Nuance and subtle humor do not translate to 95% of the people. And most of those who think they are getting it, are probably taking it the wrong way. So… Stop the sarcasm, never use cynicism, and if you go negative then close with the solution.

Now I am not saying I’m right, or that my techniques and linguistic dexterity is always ON or appropriate. What I am saying, is that if you say something back it up with Passion AND Facts. If you attack, be prepared to meet the ninja in me.

Don’t take the easy road. If you’re going to criticize, do the extra work and offer a solution. Make it fiery. Nobody "promotes" or shares boring content. (Oh, if you can help it, don’t drop the f-bomb.)

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)


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Twitter Lists Demoted, Twitter Favorites Promoted, NEW TWITTER Changes the Game

I’ve ranted about Twitter lists a number of times. In the early days it was a cool way to group and promote your friends. Then Formulists came along and created the AUTO-CRAP-TWITTER-LIST that adds everybody to everybody else’s list. Auto-lists suck. Okay, point: Formulist’s auto-list feature has trashed the Twitter List function. Now look at the way the New Twitter shows Lists, if you can find them.

NAV: Profile: Lists: Member of

Screen Shot 2012 01 22 at 8.40.43 AM Twitter Lists Demoted, Twitter Favorites Promoted, NEW TWITTER Changes the Game

Profile: Lists: Member of

But a funny thing has been removed. Twitter no longer reports how many Twitter Lists have me as a member. It used to be a signal of authority, now it’s just Formulists junk. So, I think that’s good, actually, making the gaming of Lists less important.

But the Subscribed To Lists reporting seems to have been broken for months. Here’s the screen you get.

Screen Shot 2012 01 22 at 8.48.20 AM Twitter Lists Demoted, Twitter Favorites Promoted, NEW TWITTER Changes the Game

I have not gotten this "subscribed to" list to ever load since the redesign. Ho hum.


It used to be, in the early days, that favorites or FAVS were a way of discovering new people to follow, people who were funny, people who had great things to say. And you could discover some of these people the FAV sites that did nothing but re-promote "faved" tweets. I don’t know if they still exist. Because the FAV function began to get spammy and gamed by the aggressive-growth-focused tweeters.

NOW, NEW TWITTER’S  @CONNECT PAGE brings the FAVORITE back into the accessible functions of Twitter.

Screen Shot 2012 01 22 at 8.57.38 AM Twitter Lists Demoted, Twitter Favorites Promoted, NEW TWITTER Changes the Game

Now you can see who followed you, who added you to a list (still not that interesting to me) and who retweeted or favorited your tweets.

So we lost a useful function a while ago (LISTS) and got an old function back (FAVORITES). I’d rather have Formulists kicked off Twitter Lists for good, but until that happens, FAVORITES is the NEW RETWEET. Or at least an additional ReTweet type of recognition of good tweets.

And ultimately that’s what we are looking for, good tweets. People who take care to communicate and respond using Twitter.

Respect the Tweet, Ban the Bots, Cage the Trolls, and Kill the Auto-DM.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)


See the Google Tools page & the Facebook Tools page and these other Google Posts:

And some selected Twitter posts from The Twitter Way page:

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ROCKIN THE TWEET: Twitter Tools, Twitter Lists, Stats, Discovery #Twitter

Category: community building,social media,toolsjmacofearth @ 8:13 am

Screen shot 2010 03 06 at 4.08.06 PM ROCKIN THE TWEET: Twitter Tools, Twitter Lists, Stats, Discovery #TwitterIt’s not the tool it’s how you manage it. So here are a few ideas I’d like to share around managing your social media status-sphere. It really doesn’t matter if you like Twitter, Facebook or Google+. What matters is how you use it.

First up: Twitter Lists.

What are they? Why you need ‘m. And why your Tweetdeck or Hootsuite lists are different.

So what I would like to ask you, as you are starting to re-frame your social media accounts is this, "If I can’t add you to one of my Twitter lists I probably shouldn’t be following you in the first place."

There is a 500 tweep limit for Twitter lists. So beyond that you will have to create 2nd and 3rd lists to keep your "austin friends"  together in your lists. You will notice I have an "austin friends" and an "austin friends 2" lists. This is not an indication of favoratism, but merely a reaching of the Twitter List 500 tweep maximum. I suspect I will be giving up my "tennis" list or my "cats and dogs" list in the future to build an "austin friends 3" list. But not today. (grin)

RULE of TWITTER ADDITION: before you click "follow" figure out what list you are going to add someone to and then do both. 1. Follow; 2. Add To List.

RULE of TWITTER SUBTRACTION: if you are following someone and you can’t put them on a list, perhaps you should consider unfollowing them. 1. Examine who you follow; 2. Add all "friends" to a list; 3. UF, unfollow everyone you cannot place on one of your lists. (Why were you following them in the first place?)

Next: Twitter Tools

Fact: You can’t manage Twitter on You need tools. Aside from the Twitter Tools Matrix, here is the shortlist for Twitter clients I recomend.

1. Tweetdeck; 2. Seesmic; 3. Hootsuite. And more recently, a Mac-only favorite is Nambu.

Next: Twitter Stats and Analytics

While following and being followed in Twitterville is interesting, almost as interesting and potentially more valuable is the tools that allow you to see what people are tweeting about. Example: during the SuperBowl 2010 the hashtags #nfl and #superbowl and #superbowlads were quite popular with tweeters who were rating the advertisements that were paying over a million dollars per 30 sec. slot. So if your ad didn’t "trend" within these hashtags you can bet the audience mostly ignored it, or forgot about it. And there were a number of unremarkable ads.

TERM: "Trending." When something is trending on Twitter it means the Tweet volume is so large that it is showing up as one of the top twenty most frequent words being tweeted.

So what tools are my most used when looking at Twitter trends? Here are my top Twitter stats and analytics tools.

1. TwitterVenn (making Venn diagrams out of trends is fun and easy); 2. TwitterFall (a visual browser for seeing hashtags and searches) ; 3. Twitter Trends Map (see the topics that are trending worldwide);

Finally: Twitter Discovery Tools

Finding new people to follow, new trends to track and new hashtags to search for is all part of the beauty of Twitter.

1. Mr. Tweet (who you follow and who they recommend); 2. FriendorFollow (are they following you back?); 3. NearbyTweets (how’s close to you and tweeting?); 4. Twittoria (information about your flock)

Take the time to add value to your Tweets. Don’t just follow to gain followers. If you can’t put them on a Twitter List, don’t follow them. Lists will become the new marker of Twitter Authority.

No, you can’t ask me to add you to a list. I must discover you and add you manually. Yes, you can ask me, but I’m likely to… consider it first.

Keep it social and let me know if I can help socialize your business results.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: ‎

Check out the Social Media for Business page and these other posts about learning social media:

See also: The Twitter Way and the TwitterTools Matrix

Finally an amazing image of some of the visualization tools linked off of VisualComplexity.

Screen shot 2010 03 06 at 6.56.54 PM ROCKIN THE TWEET: Twitter Tools, Twitter Lists, Stats, Discovery #Twitter

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