Creating the #BlogChat Community Leads to Hero Status for Mack Collier, Darlin’

Tweetup with MackCollier

Tweetup with MackCollier (photo by @HowellMarketing)

Writing that headline was fun. Blogging and social media have to be fun for me, cause this blog is a personal passion. I have no interest in “monetizing” my blog (I hope all the spammy folks who send weird messages will read that). I have a great job where I get to do communications.This blog is just a way to share my story. Somewhere in time, it was more than two years ago, I stumbled into a Twitter chat I wasn’t sure was meant for folks like me — Mack Collier and some of the others who had been participating in the chat for a while were awesome. But that was two years ago, so why would I write about him now? Or asking that same question another way, what qualifies Mack as a social media hero of mine?

Community Builder Extraordinaire

Some of you may know that the chat I stumbled into & met Mack in was #BlogChat, but plenty are asking yourselves “what is #blogchat?” Mack’s written a great post on that question – so just check out the link if you blog. But the short of it is #Blogchat is the weekly conversation on Twitter that has bloggers of all sorts talking about topics of shared interest, discussing ideas and tips. When I stumbled in, unsure of whether someone like me who just writes a personal blog should participate, I got an almost immediate welcome from Mack and several of the folks who had probably been participating since it started a year earlier.

Although there are experts throughout the #blogchat community, there was none (or at least VERY LITTLE) of the ego that can be found in places where you may feel like you are not as experienced as others. In fact, I hadn’t been blogging long and I knew I had a million things to learn! And when I expressed those thoughts, everyone seemed to say they were here to learn too! Awesome! I think the community deserves massive praise but I also think I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Mack helped create that sort of space by offering his expertise where it was needed and asking others for ways to do things better too. Leading by fully participating is great for community building!

Growth as a Blogger

With that type of community available and so generous, I began joining in almost every week. There were a few topics that I wasn’t sure I’d get something from, but quite frankly, joining the convo led me to understand things that I may need later. And there were always people willing to lend a kind ear to a beginning blogger like me who had some pretty basic questions at times. That’s how I found folks like Becky McCray, Heidi Cohen, and Margie Clayman. Those folks, along with Mack, remain some of the folks in the social media world that I watch most closely as they do it so well.

I’ve learned

  • how to make my blog’s design lend to better engagement in the content
  • ways I can integrate multiple topics on the 1 blog without seeming to be schizophrenic
  • things I can do to help improve the agricultural blogging community
  • what steps may be the options I have ahead of me which led to the purchased domain and more recently self-hosting and more

A great deal of that can be traced back to discussions I’ve had with people in the #blogchat community — if not on Sunday nights, than any other time of the week when the question came to me and I sent out a tweet. I also built my own confidence on topics within the area so that I can serve as a resource for others.

Mack CollierBeing Yourself is a Good Thing

This is a pretty goofy subhead maybe but the thought behind it is sincere and to me, it is important. A lot of people worry about controlling their image and social media is a weird place for that. Its much easier to be yourself. And quite frankly in social media, by being yourself you can enjoy things a lot more.

I got to meet Mack not too long after I started participating in #blogchat. Sitting on the patio at Dan McGuinness (a restaurant/bar I truly miss), it was clear that Mack sitting there having a drink is the same good guy on Twitter. And for the extroverts — believe me Amy Howell of @HowellMarketing is every bit as extroverted as I — we knew what a great person we had and even though he hadn’t written the now famous introvert post, he was a tiny bit more reserved than the in your face people. For us, we knew to step back so he could answer all the questions we were throwing at him as rapidly as possible! LOL!

Mack and I are both Southern. Yes, I know I have lived in New York and now live in Missouri…. even though I have lived in a variety of places, the South is deeply ingrained in who I am. We call people darlin’ in our real worlds so why not in social media? When I get excited about something, I say it rocks…. that leads me to use the #FarmersROCK or #CottonRocks hashtags now and then. It shows people I am pumped up. Quite frankly, being yourself makes it really easy when you meet people.

The same comes from genuine interactions about what you may be learning. Saying you just learned something can frequently lead to learning more! And everyone knows learning rocks!

Where to find Mack:Mack Collier is a social media hero

Do you agree? Should Mack get a cape?

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About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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13 Responses to Creating the #BlogChat Community Leads to Hero Status for Mack Collier, Darlin’

  1. Family Foodie March 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    What an awesome post…. you have inspired me to participate in #Blogchat more often!

  2. Mack Collier March 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Aw thank ya darlin’ for such a kind post 😉 One thing I learned a long time ago is that most people are smarter than they give themselves credit for. That’s why I try to encourage everyone to feel comfortable contributing to #Blogchat, cause I think we can all learn something from each other. I even learn something from the people that say they are new to blogging.

    This post also reminds me I need to make a return trip to Memphis soon 😉

    • Janice Person March 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Well, if you get a trip to St. Louis anytime soon, let me know cause I moved in the fall. 😉 But if you’re going to Memphis let me know that too…. I could use more excuses to make the drive.

      • Mack Collier March 19, 2012 at 7:35 am #

        Gak! Sorry I knew that! St Louis it is!

  3. Bruce Sallan March 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    We all LOVE Mack. I will be there tonight at #blogchat as I am most EVERY Sunday. Mack taught and inspired me which is why #DadChat happened and why it’s working. I still come to #blogchat for the camraderie, the learning, and the GREAT people! See you there tonight JP. BTW, I so appreciate that you come to #DadChat in spite of not having kids…shows the value of community, doesn’t it?

    • Janice Person March 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Exactly! I remember meeting you oh so many moons ago too! Even think I told a few farmer friends to look you up when they went to #140confLA one year. 🙂 Creating such a positive community, where everyone is genuinely appreciated for whatever it is they bring to the table is awesomeness in action! #Blogchat is the community I’ve had that in the longest, but #dadchat certainly has the vibe!

  4. Barry Birkett March 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    What a fantastic — and totally appropriate — tribute. As to your question, a cape would be SO out of character. Besides, I think the greatest heroes are the ones who are seemingly just like us so we can see them as models for what we can achieve ourselves!

    • Janice Person March 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      Thank you for the compliment and you’ve got a good point on Mack’s not being a cape kind of guy!

  5. Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand March 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Great tribute to a wonderful community that has come together because of Mack Collier

    • Janice Person March 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      Thanks Annie! You know I love a place where I can get ideas & think about new things! Thanks for coming by!

  6. Becky McCray March 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    Mack Collier is authentic, honest, and just a good guy. If he had a cape, he’d keep it hidden, except when he really needed to help others. It’s been my pleasure to meet him in person, to sit down for a good chat or two, and to offer him the little help I could at the time.

    Mack truly puts his small town smarts to good use in the wider world.

    • Janice Person March 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

      He certainly does! I wonder how many people realize he’s a small town guy…. seems obvious to me lots of big ideas and great communities have roots in small towns. Thanks for being one of those folks who help keep it real too Becky! Your time and expertise are genuinely appreciated!

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