Why I love wa.ag and you should too (and a discount code)

What I dislike (if you know me you can feel the restraint in that word) about most networking events is the lack of humanity. I understand that everyone has something to sell (their startup, their service, themselves). The problem is unless I know you, I’m really (really, really, really) not interested in your 30 second elevator pitch from hell and I believe that to be true for most people. People want to know you, not your business card or your resume.

Enter wa.ag, a startup run by my buddy Dave Gise (@davegise). wa.ag does a few things well; they provide exposure and real value for an restaurant or event space, they create a great pop-up gathering. The one that captured my attention is the way they turn networking on it’s head.

I was lucky enough to attend the first wa.ag at the Irish Exit (great fries!). Instead of just sticking people together and encouraging ‘networking’, Dave features a startup or small business and all the attendees are given information about the business as they walk in. They are then asked to examine that information and offer them tips and assistance according to their expertise. If you’ve ever been to one of our LITweetUps, it creates a very similar atmosphere of smart people working together (wa.ag stands for ‘work as a group’) towards a common goal. In my opinion, there is no better way to get to know someone professionally than to watch them think and work and apply their knowledge and talent, selflessly, to help someone else.

Keep your elevator pitches. Grab a beer, connect your mind and your creativity to your mouth and help somebody else’s business out a little bit while we shoot the breeze. Now I’ve had a chance to see and hear your capabilities (the real ones, not the ones you tell everybody about) and I’ve seen you as a human being helping someone else. That tells me way more about what you’re really capable of and if I want to do business with you.

The next wa.ag will be in Long Island tonite, Tuesday 9/13 and here’s a VERY generous discount code: discountatrookies.

If you’re free (I’ve got PTA, sorry) you should check it out or at least register to get informed about the next one.

I’d love to hear what you think.

Things to share at the 8/18/11 LITweetUp

I’ve been thinking about importing one more thing into the Long Island Social Media / PR / Marketing scene and I’ve decided I’m definitely going to do it. It’ll be in-industry mainly and I’ll have more details at the LITweetUp at Alure.

Extending the Call for Speakers for 140Conf Long Island

OK, we heard you and we get it. The site was down for almost a week due to tech difficulties and many of you got lost in the shuffle and really wanted to submit a talk; not good because there are some really great stories out there and we want Long Island and the world to hear them. No worries, the organizers are going to continue to accept submissions thru the end of this week to work it out. So get to it and submit your story, we want to hear it.


That said the response has been really great so far, so we will be meeting Monday to get to work on releasing the preliminary speaker list.


BTW in case you haven’t met them yet, the organizers are: Andrea Cannavina – @legaltypist, Mo Krochmal – @krochmal, Jonathan Ezor – @profjonathan and me on behalf of @socialisle

Are you Influential?

It’s really easy to make me happy. Laugh at my jokes, smile back when I smile at you or maybe put my picture in the paper and be kind enough to throw in a quote (thank you @PatriciaKitchen). So if Patricia were to call me now and ask me to email my famous pear omelette recipe, would I do it? Even without the magic-8-ball, the odds are good, not just because she took the time to write about me, but because she and I have invested time in getting to know one another and become friends.

But wait, Patricia’s Klout score is lower than Mr. Imadethisnameup who also called me. He’s a bit of an ass, but he’s really well connected (he just RT’d Chris Brogan!) and he’s writing an post about {insert crucially urgent social media topic of the day} . Guess Patricia will have to wait.

This is a silly example of a serious decision that businesses small and large make everyday.  There’s no question Klout is an important tool and will continue to improve (I will not be joining the Social Media Hipsters who hate every tool that becomes popular just  because it’s popular), and that’s not the point of this post today. I’m just hoping to remind a few of you that it’s not the Media that’s important, it’s the Social.

When you decide how to treat your customers, employees, partners, or vendors, think about what advice you’d give your child if they were faced with the same decision.



Nice mention in Newsday today!

Thank you to @CarlCory & the gang at Newsday for including me in their first ever FIVEtoFollow in LI (page A31).  The real stars on the list are the other 4 people, I’m just on because 3 of them are friends of mine.


Please get to know my talented Long Island friends @SteveHaweeli, @AmandaNMarsh, @SueanneShirzay and join me in getting to know @VeraSweeney.

Keep an eye on that space as I hear the FIVEtoFollow is going to be a recurring section.

Missing swsx?? Come to #usXsw virtual weekend!! (and don’t miss the party)

usXsw is a great guided online conference with input from dynamic people all over the world, lots of fun and prizes!. It was created by the great folks over at the #UsGuys group on twitter.

My partners and I at Socialisle are honored to be hosting the official party usXsw Live on Saturday night at 7pm EST. More details to come :)

More details on usXsw here: http://bit.ly/emu9EO

My thoughts on The Well by Chris Gregory

Great storytelling captivates me, especially when I come across a piece that shakes up a preconceived notion I’ve held on to and never considered thoroughly.  The Well: Covering Capitol Hill by Chris Gregory is one of those stories.  My buddy John Doyle (@14str8) shared it on Facebook this morning.  Take a look if you have 4 minutes, read my comments and let me know what you think.

The Well: Covering Capitol Hill from Chris Gregory on Vimeo.

I especially appreciated the comments by Melina Mara; it’s easy for me as a person outside of this world to think ‘oh good, the world of journalism is being disrupted, it’s about time.‘  My impression is still that it’s a good thing overall, but hearing explanations like this makes me understand how crucial it is that we become an “immediate, right now, short form story” and a “reflected upon, considered, investigated, thoughtful story” society.

Melina Mara, Washington Post

The availability of both will be as important in our world as the availability of coverage from every bias has become today. Once upon a time, every news outlet appeared to be in agreement on most things, most of the time.  Today I think an educated consumer of news gets better quality.  Fair & Balanced comes from consumers learning that each point of view has a voice and an outlet and that there are a million fact-checkers waiting for them to screwup who now also have a voice & an outlet.

I hope in the same way right-now and thought-thru journalists and outlets will balance one another.  Just my two-cents, what do you guys think?

Guest Speaking for the Long Island Junior Chamber (LIJaycees) 1/25/11

Long Island Junior Chamber - LIJaycees
I am honored and so excited to have the opportunity to speak for the @LIJaycees meeting tomorrow night. Having met some of the new leadership of the chamber and spending some time with the group at Houlihan’s the other night I can tell you this is a dynamic group of people ready to make waves.

The talk I’m giving is tentatively titled ‘Hacking Long Island to Ensure Our Future’ although I’m also considering “No, I Don’t Want to Network, Again!”. I will not be just talking the whole time, it’s not my style; I like to keep a conversation going. We’re looking into UStreaming it, in case you want to check it out but can’t make it.

Here’s the details, it’s open to all who are interested:
Facebook Event

Tuesday, January 25 · 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Paddy’s Loft
1286 Hicksville Road
Massapequa, NY 11758

Long Island SnowDay LITweetUP

Snow on tree
Image via Wikipedia

Live video #LITweetUP right here during the #SnowDay!! Talk to all your friends without traveling.

At 10:30 hit the Join Chat button in the lower right hand corner of the screen. If you have a webcam, cue it up so we can see you.

We’ll mostly be just hanging out and comparing Hot Cocoa recipes and making fun of peoples bed-head, but for those of you who like agendas, here are some possible topics:

  • 140confLI
  • my new facial hair, an origin story
  • Social Media Camp LI 2
  • wierdest gift you got for Christmas / Hanukkah
  • TEDxLI
  • feety pjs, appropriate for adults or just creepy
  • the new social business agency we’re launching
  • who’s back hurts worst from shoveling
  • SocialSchoolLI
  • See you there!!

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Small Business Saturday Long Island

American Express and FaceBook are promoting Small Business Saturday on November 27th in an effort to get consumers out to our local stores and strengthen the backbone of our economy. LITweetUP is doing what we can to help our Long Island Small Businesses. More details after the video.

What is it?

Small Business Saturday Logo According to the Facebook page:
“First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. This year, November 27th is the first ever Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.”


What is LITweetUP Doing?

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to have been well promoted on Long Island (the capital of Small Business in my opinion!) so this only came to our attention late last week. We’ve put together a small team of a few of Long Island best (professionals in the fields of Writing, Social Media and Advertising) and came up with a quickie plan.

  • On Thursday November 18th at 6pm we will be getting together with as many business owners as we can get to (and handle based on our numbers) in 2 locations, one in Suffolk and one in Nassau. The locations are TBD. See the Free Help or Small Business tab for more.
  • A few of us have friends in local media and we’re reaching out to them to let them know about #SmallBizSat and that we’re trying to do something to help out.
  • We’re reaching out to any Chambers of Commerce we can to let them know about the potential benefits this could have for our small businesses.
  • We will be tapping our own networks to promote this day and encouraging people to Shop Small on 11/27.


Free Help for Small Business

Facebook is giving small business owners $100 in free advertising with a deadline of Thursday November 18th at midnight. Our goal is to spend some time with business owners on Thursday night and help them take advantage of this in preparation for #SmallBizSat. We will all be donating our time.

  • We’ll be limiting it to 3 business owners per team member and doing a shortened Social School session. Would you like to come, let me know in the comments.
  • Each business owner should bring along a laptop.
  • We will walk you thru setting up your FB ad and / or FB Deal
  • For those that can’t make it, one or more of our team members will post a free walk thru online. I’ll link to it from here.


The Team

Here are the members of this awesome team. Please check them out, they are some of Long Island’s finest!

Angelina Simms @angelinasimms
Constance Korol @constancek
George Torres @urbanjibaro
Louise DiCarlo @lovelylu
Manny Velasquez-Paredes LinkedIn
Meg Heckman @ruleyourday
Nathan King @nathanrking
Pete Shelly @peteshelly
Sueanne Shirzay @sueanneshirzay
Jeff Namnum @namnum @socialschoolli