What You Can Do To Grow This (Or Any) Online Community

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The Digital Marketing world continues to twirl around ways to advertise, monetize or build sponsorships for these online social channels. Whether you call it Web 2.0, Social Media or the Live Web, Marketers are struggling to figure out how to advertise in these channels, while the content creators are trying to understand the best way to monetize their environments.
I’ve been thinking about it too.
Granted, the Twist Image Blog and Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast are not looking for any form of sponsorship or monetization, but I am still looking to grow the audience, build the Blog and Podcast and ensure that there is a leadership role in the world of Marketing and Communications for us.
In my pursuit of understanding those who are looking for advertisers and sponsorship, or those – more like me – who believe that their Blog and/or Podcast is just a great channel to build a personal brand and help establish themselves (and their companies) as recognized authorities, I’ve compiled a list of things that you, the reader or listener, can do to help grow this community.
If you are thinking about ways to get more involved or have been grappling with a way to contribute to these online conversations, I’ve created a very selfish list of stuff you can do to get your feet wet, build the community and, at the same time, get your own name “out there” without having to maintain a media channel of your own.
Feel free to swap out the Twist Image Blog or Six Pixels Of Separation or even me with someone else whose content you love.
So, what would help grow this community?
In no particular order_
– Head over to Technorati and choose me as a “favorite.” It’s always good to see that people like this Blog and are acknowledging it by clicking that little pink icon.
– If you are mentioning me, personally, in anything use the tag “Mitch Joel” instead of “Mitch.” As you can well imagine, there are not as many Mitch Joel’s as there are Mitch’s and I’d love to see everything from video, images, text and audio if I am being mentioned.
– Like the last one, use the tags “six pixels of separation” over “six pixels” if you’re mentioning the Podcast.
– Connect to me on LinkedIn. I would be happy to extend and connect into your network. My profile is here: LinkedIn – Mitch Joel Profile.
– If you know me and you’re so inclined, write up a recommendation of me on LinkedIn (you never know what might come back your way).
– Add me as a Friend on Facebook. My profile is here: Facebook – Mitch Joel.
– Join the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast Society – my Group on Facebook. There are close to six hundred members. You can connect to the entire community here: Facebook – Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast Society.
– Write a review of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast on iTunes. This is something I hardly mention, but apparently, iTunes does look at this stuff. If my audio content has inspired you, this is a great way to let me (and the community) know.
– Get a business colleague, client or friend (or fifty) to subscribe to Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast on iTunes or to this Blog. If you love the Blog, Podcast or both, let other people know about it. The only way we’re going to grow the Digital Marketing community is by referring people to the stuff that inspires us.
– Add the Twist Image Blog and my Google Shared Items link to your feed reader. Marketers and analytic experts are starting to look at how many people are subscribed to what as a metric. This might also encourage you to finally simplify your life by getting a feed reader (like Google Reader).
– Like the last bullet point, if you use Bloglines or another feed reader, please subscribe to this Twist Image Blog through it.
– Add me as a friend on Twitter. Just try this new micro-Blogging platform. You’ll see why the amount of people Blogging has shifted to this, almost, SMS-like Blog platform. You can fine me here: twitter – Mitch Joel.
– Add your comments and insights to this Blog. It’s probably one of the easiest and fastest ways to be involved in Social Media without really having to do much. Every post has a place for anybody to add a comment. Go ahead, push the conversation forward.
– Add me to your Blogroll if you have a Blog. If I like your Blog, and read it regularly, I’ll be more than happy to return the favor (this reminds me, there are probably a batch of Blogs and Podcasts that I need to add to the left-hand-side navigation).
– Have me come and speak to your company or industry association. If you’re trying to get people excited about new media, digital marketing, brand democratization, personal brand development and social media, I would be happy to discuss any opportunities. I’ve spoken at large industry conferences and in corporate boardrooms to all types of executives. My speaking bureau always says that there is not an industry that can’t use a good presentation on the modern marketing channels. You can learn more about me as a speaker over here: Speakers’ Spotlight – Mitch Joel.
– If you link to some of my Blog postings or Podcast, feel free to drop me an email. Sometimes, the “engines” don’t find it… but I’d like to know. I’m usually quick to respond and add a comment as well.
– Share. share with me what you’re doing. I may just Blog about it. I may just Podcast about it. Who knows, I might even do both, but this is all about sharing, connecting and conversations.
– Call in an audio comment to the Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. It’s just like leaving a voice message. The number is +1 206-666-6056.
– You can also now find me on flickr. I just bought a slim and portable digital camera. I have not posted anything yet, but I do have a page that I plan to populate and connect with others. It’s over here: flickr – Mitch Joel.
The results of doing some (or all) of this stuff certainly will benefit me, but it will also empower you to do stuff in this new Marketing world. You don’t have to have your own Blog or Podcast (although, if you have something to say – go for it!). You can be a part of this by just doing some of the simple stuff above – by commenting and adding your voice and thoughts to other people’s areas (which are, in essence, your areas as well).
Did I miss anything? Please let me know.
When I look back on this list, it makes me realize that is how I can best monetize my Blog and Podcast. I can grow this community, which will grow everyone’s business. The theory dates back to my pre-Social Media roots of doing a lot of community work. My theory was quite simple: you can’t have a strong business without a strong community.


  1. I think the last paragraph is the most important you could have written. The issue is growing someone else’s business and through reciprocity they in return help grow your business. Alternatively, using the language in your entry, build the community first and let the business follow.
    I think the written style of this entry might, unfortunately, invite an interpretation that asking for all these links is a bit analogous to asking for an iPhone on your show (an interpretation I do not hold, by the way). That is why I think the last paragraph is so important. As Robert Cialdini has taught us, if you walk into a room and ask whose business prospects you can genuinely help and advance…then those people will be inclined to show the same behavior back to you and advance your business prospects.
    Build the community first….a nice blog entry and a great way to start my Tuesday. Thanks Mitch Joel!

  2. “I think the written style of this entry might, unfortunately, invite an interpretation that asking for all these links is a bit analogous to asking for an iPhone on your show (an interpretation I do not hold, by the way).”
    Wow, that did not take long… and that was exactly why I wrote it the way I did. I’m not looking for money or sponsorship, but I am looking for help to grow this and keep it healthy. I tried to lay out a list of ways to connect, communicate and share… all the while letting people know that they can exchange whatever I do here with their favourite content producer.
    I wanted to make the list crisp, long, BUT easy.
    There’s a sub-text here – and I’m not sure how well of a job I did explaining it: just by going from this Blog to check out something like flickr (whether you add me or not) helps the community. The more people are trying, using and playing around with technology, the quicker the adoption.
    And that, ultimately, is the main point.
    All that being said, almost everything I see these days looks like link bait… so, why should this post be any different?

  3. Great point Dave. That’s why I listed speaking at events, and why I host stuff like Geek Dinners and stay connected through associations like the Canadian Marketing Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada.
    Hmm… maybe there’s a whole other post here on ways to build your community offline?
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Excellent ideas on building an online community. We’ve found that it takes lots of work to get your pearls of wisdom read by many. Thanks Mitch!

  5. Hi Mitch, am digging this concept of agglomerating [social] media channels… The web has cast a wide reach, but managing the tangle of links and gaining critical mass will be the name of the game in the future.
    ps your trackback isn’t showing up.

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