Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Association Jam - Summer 2013 - Lessons Learned

Well, we did it (and when I say we, I mean we)!  The first Association Jam actually happened and I am so grateful for everyone who participated.  We had awesome hosts +Vickie Lester +Maria Nazario +Wendy Kavanagh +Elizabeth Engel and +KiKi L'Italien .  My CA co-hosts +Sandra Giarde and +Gina Sutherland kept me grounded and were awesome at making sure everyone had enough grub and libations....

I really don't have much to say about this grassroots, virtual adventure that you can't see for yourself on the video save to say I did learn a few lessons along the way.....

1)  Experimentation - If innovation is king, then experimentation is queen.  The only way to do new things and to push the envelope is to do new things and push the envelope.  And it's nuts.  There is no policy manual to look for. A thousand things come up that you don't expect.  You may wake up several times relatively sure that what you are trying to do might suck, might be misunderstood, might not be worth the effort, might even end in disaster - and in public. Do it anyway.

2)  Collaboration - the only way to pull off things in this new environment is to refuse to be a lone ranger and to collaborate.  A lot.  We conducted tests, talked about what we would talk about, logged onto the Google+ community, talked amongst ourselves, started Facebook events, tweeted, blogged and basically jumped off the dock together.  The swim turned out to be fun and refreshing.  Whew!

3) Coordination - I am a kind of "live and let live" kind of gal, but I missed the opportunity to create some additional cohesive details for each site that could have amplified the communal aspect of the virtual environment.  For example - Kiki came up with a drinking game - every time they said "value" they took a drink.  It would have been fun to have some of the same games running at each site. So I'll put that in my "box o' things to remember."

4) Celebration - The best part, was seeing folks celebrate in the sheer fun of doing something new. I feel like it was worth it just to see everyone having such a good time and hanging out.  We built an Association Jam playlist on YouTube and just let it fly. Our theme song for this one has to be Daft Punk - Get Lucky! (warning - the video is weird but the groove is undeniable!  :D)

+Joe Rominiecki did a write up on it for Associations Now blog...thank you Joe!  What you got out of the experience was what I hoped people would - new people to meet, great conversation and an attempt to play in real time with new ways of interacting.

Stay tuned for the next event.  From what I can tell - it seems like our hosts are ready to try it again and we are ready to invite more of you into the pool!  :D  In the meantime - take good care of each other and let's keep experimenting.


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