I was there!
Yes, I made the trek from one end of the country to the other just to meet some people in person that I only knew online. Plus, it was an opportunity to meet Seth Godin. But the real reason was to bond with the Triiibe.
I know I’ve probably mentioned it before, but here’s a little background. Before Seth’s last book launch, Tribes, he offered an invitation to join his online community if you purchased the book before it was released. I knew it was going to be good, and I’d probably buy one anyway so I said, why not?
So I joined Seth’s exclusive Triiibes.com community on the Ning.com platform, and it was pretty fun. Here was all of these diverse and interesting people from all over the world starting up conversations about the new marketing, building communities (tribes), and making a difference in the world. Seth basically set the guidelines and left us alone. He didn’t do any directing except eliminating people who were spammy self promoters, to make sure the conversations were real and authentic, and to keep out the online riff-raff.
We began working on projects together, collaborated on a couple of ebooks, and generally had a good time discussing things. Over time, different people would drop in and out of activity, but if you hung around you knew who was who.
And then things got personal. We helped console someone through a death in the family, we provided moral support to someone going through a major surgery (sent lots of cards and flowers), and helped others get their personal business off the ground. We dabled in consulting by providing recommendations to a business with a specific problem. We started all kinds of sub-groups from surfing to online marketing to wordpress users and developed bonds as we shared things in common and learned from the wisdom of the group. We even helped one of our members win a contest to be able to be Dan Pink’s guest and speak at TED.
Some of us who were closely located met in person occasionally. But this year we decided to make it big and organize a Triiibes Conference (although nobody liked that word). And there was no better opportunity than Seth’s Linchpin book launch in New York. He let us in on the information about it way ahead of time so we could start planning.
So a small group of us put the plans and details in place and made it happen.
It was a truly remarkable experience, some might even say ‘life changing’. But not necessarily because of the activities we planned, but because of the opportunity to connect in person with some really amazing people who we had already gotten to know well online.
It really is hard to put into words the feelings I had about the experience. People were so generous and willing to share. And there was a lot of great sharing going on. We learned about each others’ business or positions, learned about some great ideas people were working on, and also helped each other with problems or roadblocks that we were encountering.
It was like a big family reunion, because we all knew each other, and even had some inside jokes around discussions that we had online. And people came from all over the world: London, Slovenia, Belgium, Texas, California, and Washington (me), plus those in and closer to New York. People were committed to this event.
We spent all day on a Thursday together getting to know each other, giving presentations and socializing at the Williams Club (a coincidence, or not). Then Thursday night we had a private dinner with Seth at a small Asian place with food we’ll never forget. Friday morning was the public Linchpin Session with Seth where about 500 people showed up to see his presentation and get some books signed. Then in the afternoon, we met again as a Triiibe, along with a couple of new friends we met at Seth’s session, at the Williams Club for more discussion and a nice catered dinner. After dinner we just socialized and talked some more, late into the evening until the club kicked us out.
Connections were made, friendships deepened, and new desire was spawned to make a difference and do work that matters. It will always be considered a milestone event for me and many others.
It’s amazing what a small group of people can accomplish.
What will you do?