Anton Anderson emcees as Lori Webster looks on. Fluorescents be damned, I like the shot anyway.
Like a lot of people, I've been looking to spruce up my online social networking skills for the sake of my business. I'm okay at blogging, but I've got a few things to learn about Facebook and my LinkedIn page is neglected. (I'm so pathetic at Twitter I'm not at liberty to discuss it here.)
Lately I've been speaking to groups about blogging. The first thing I tell them is that blogging is networking. The second thing I tell them is that networking is giving. Networking used to conjure up depressing pictures of dreary social functions where you'd pass out your business card in hopes of getting work. It felt like begging and I was lousy at it. But that's an old idea. Now, networking is about service--finding out what your network needs and filling that need, knowing the returns will come. Giver is a much more powerful position than Beggar.
Last Friday night, Webster's Fine Stationers in Altadena showed us how it's done. WFS, owned by Scott and Lori Webster, hosted a well-attended Social Media Meet and Greet event, free and open to the public. The audience comprised upwards of 50 local entrepreneurs of all stripes and levels of networking knowledge. Everyone was eager to learn and share.
Anton Anderson of Productivity Consulting emceed and Hilary Cable of Business.com Answers led the evening with an informative talk about using Facebook for your business. (She cleared up some Facebook mysteries, which until Friday I would have told you was impossible to do.) I spoke briefly about blogging, and Deb Halberstadt of HalfCity Productions guided us through the uses of LinkedIn.
Then we got to eat! courtesy of Amy's Patio Cafe. And there was wine tasting! provided by Anne Louise Bannon and Michael Holland of OddBallGrape.com. And there was much offline networking, quite social, provided by a lively and interesting crowd.
It would be nice if you clicked all the links, though I know you won't. Still, it gives you a visual idea of how many people and businesses contributed to the evening.
I'd like to see Webster's Fine Stationers do this type of event again, perhaps with even more community input. At a time when so many of us need to stay on top of these changing networking platforms, WFS provided a forum, a gathering place, a community service. Lori, Scott and their great staff filled the needs of their network, and I know the returns will come rushing back to them.