I’m Grateful for You

The Character-Based Leader - Tara Alemany https://alewebsocial.com

The Character-Based Leader is available on Amazon and on our website. For a copy autographed by me, purchase the book here.

This may seem a bit unusual for my typical posts, but indulge me for a bit if you will. It’s been an unusual past few days for me, and the things I was reminded of through them may resonate with you as well. If you can learn anything from my experiences, even better!

Last week, I was pleased to participate in a book launch that was huge and very personal for me. I had co-authored a book with 20 other authors called The Character-Based Leader: Instigating a Leadership Revolution… One Person at a Time. This book is incredible; unusual from any other book I’ve ever read because it is the collective vision of multiple authors all writing in a single voice, sharing the same message, each in their own unique way. Character counts in leadership, we say. And leadership today is sorely lacking in good character, but we each have it within ourselves to make a difference.

That’s not all that makes the book unique though. This collaboration was 100% virtual. Although I have come to know and love many of my co-authors through social networks, e-mail, video chats and phone calls, I have not met a single one of them in real life yet. Tomorrow, I will meet the first when Will Lukang joins me for a book signing event.

I tackled two distinct but related subjects in The Character-Based Leader, intentionality and perseverance. I wrote about how the choices we make reflect who we are in life. If you want to live an impactful life, you have to live purposefully. And I shared about how purpose leads to vision, which is one of the four key elements to perseverance. Without vision, there’s no justification to persevere.

As the book was launching, I told my mother that I had a feeling that when I looked back at the end of my days, this book was going to be one of the accomplishments I was most proud of. Little did I think at that time that my days might be numbered on one hand. [Read more…]

A Leader’s Legacy

This was originally posted on the Lead Change Group’s blog on June 25, 2012. Reposted here as part of the Evangelical Seminary’s Leadership Synchroblog campaign.

Legacy - https://alewebsocial.comI have a friend who I think is pretty neat.He’s always got a smile on his face, laughs easily, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Kids love him. He’s a committed husband and Dad, as well as a humble man of faith. He makes learning new things fun, even when they’re challenging. He’s got a servant’s heart, yet is a strong leader, and he volunteers his time to his community and neighbors.

During a recent weekend trip with this friend and some others, I realized that everyone who knows him holds him in high regard. I’ve often wondered what people will say about me when I’m gone. (Strange, I know – but it’s part of being intentional about the legacy I want to leave.) It became apparent that my friend has been building his legacy for years already, and it’s a strong and solid one!

When it comes right down to it, though, haven’t we all?

The path we follow through this world intersects with others’ along the way. We make an imprint upon everyone we meet, no matter how large or small. When we hold a door open for someone else or send a friend a card for no reason, we are touching someone else’s life. It may not be the same impact as when you rescue someone from a burning building or help a child gain confidence, but we can’t go through life without affecting those around us.

And sometimes, it’s the small actions that have the biggest effect. Just plain being there when someone needs a friend, putting yourself in their shoes for a time, sharing simple words of encouragement and understanding – it all adds up to the legacy we leave.

What legacy areyouleaving as a person and a leader? Are you being intentional about it, or just letting it develop over time based on random acts and decisions you make? Better yet, does everyone you know hold you in high regard or are there relationships that need mending?

As leaders, we need to be aware of those around us, but more than that, we need to be aware of the effect we have on them by our actions and our inaction.

To become a leader with a legacy you can be proud of, here are a few action steps to point you in the right direction.

  • Imagine listening in at your own funeral. What do you want to hear people remember most about you? And what did you inspire people to aspire to? That’s going to become your goal.
  • Assess where you stand in relation to that goal now. If you need help with this, ask a trusted friend or mentor.
  • Identify what skills, characteristics and habits you need to start establishing now to more clearly achieve that goal.
  • Begin a program of self-improvement to better incorporate those behaviors into your life.
  • Periodically reassess both the goal and where you stand in relation to it.

We are works in progress until we die.Unfortunately, for most of us, we have no idea whether today’s the last day or if we have another year, 20 years or 50 years. Yet, a legacy waits for no one. We’re making one right now, whether we’re intentional about it or not. Is it something we can be proud of, or does it still need work?

The time to begin is today. What’s your legacy going to be?

What Does It Take to be a True Hero?

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They can be young or old, black or white, rich or poor. If you look up the word at dictionary.com, you’ll see this is the first definition:

a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

9/11 afforded many people the opportunity to look within themselves and find the hero within. We all have that quality within us. It’s that drive that enables us to put the needs of others before our own in times of trouble or sadness. That selflessness becomes a mark of maturity, demonstrating that we’ve learned a vital lesson. The world does not revolve around us.

Take a few minutes this day to watch this video, reflect upon it’s message and look within your own heart and mind.

The world needs more heroes. Where can you step up and make a difference in someone’s time of need? Whether it’s volunteering on your kid’s soccer team, mentoring a fatherless child, serving at a local soup kitchen, helping someone out financially, visiting with an elderly neighbor, or something completely different. When average people step up to fill a need, coming together and pulling together, they can accomplish amazing things.

As the narrator, Tom Hanks, shared:

The great boatlift of 9/11 became the largest sea evacuation in history, larger than the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II, where 339,000 British and French soldiers were rescued over the course of nine days. On 9/11, nearly 500,000 civilians were rescued from Manhattan by boat. It took less than nine hours…

Don’t live your life wondering “Should I have?” And don’t wait for tragedy to strike to call up that inner hero. You have the ability to make the world a better place today.

I’d love for each of my readers to share whatever they’d like in the comments below, whether it’s their memories of how 9/11 affected them, or how they are inspired by this post and video to step up and commit letting their own inner hero loose. For those of us who lived through 9/11/2001, the world was forever changed. But we have it within ourselves to continue that change, embracing the spirit of self-sacrifice that made us proud to be Americans, to make a positive difference in our communities today.

Are you going to step up to the challenge?

How to Really Listen

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't. ~ Bill NyeI have a client, a winery, who is short-handed for the next month. Since I really enjoying going to this place, when they asked if there was anyway I could help them out by working there a couple of days a week for the next month, I said “sure.” It’s an exciting time of growth for this business, and I enjoy being a part of it.

Today, I was “manning the shop” all alone when an older couple came in for a wine tasting. Being an early Friday afternoon, the place was quiet, and I was able to simply enjoy engaging in conversation with them. Over the course of the next hour, we shared stories about our lives back and forth with each other.

As the husband went out to the car to load their purchases, the wife stayed a talked awhile longer. She confided how much she valued the time I had spent with them. Her daughter had just remarried, her grandson had gone to college and her granddaughter was starting a new job at a local hospital. They have been a close-knit family, living on the same property for years, in and out of each other’s homes on a daily basis, and now this grandmother was feeling “an empty nest, times three!” The sorrow and grief in her eyes was heart-wrenching, and I was grateful that we’d had that time alone to just enjoy one another’s company.

As I was thinking back on that experience this evening, it occurred to me that so few of us really know how to listen. There was a moment when this woman was leaving the winery where our eyes connected, no more words were spoken, but she knew that she had been heard, and her thoughts and feelings mattered to someone else.

In social media, where we don’t have the opportunity to make eye contact, and listening can echo back like an empty chasm if you don’t make your presence known, how do we let someone know we’re listening?

I had another instance earlier this week where I’d seen someone’s name flit through my Twitter feed whom I hadn’t spoken with in a long time. So, I reached out and sent her a tweet, asking her how she was doing. This led to a private (DM) conversation where she shared that Life had been rough of late.

The best way that I could show I was listening was to actively participate in the conversation, but always keeping the focus on her. It’s so easy to want to relate our own experiences with a topic. But sometimes a person just needs to be heard. When using social media, oftentimes it’s feedback (or the much-bantered word “engagement”) that let’s us know anyone is even listening.

Here are some tips on how to demonstrate active listening in social media:

  • When someone needs to talk, let the conversation be about whatever it is they need to talk about.
  • In real life, eye contact and touch show that we’re engaged. Online, substitute a private message or directed contact to let the person know you are there, you are listening and you care.
  • Don’t steer the conversation to yourself. Instead, be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.  If you can’t be genuinely interested, perhaps it’s not the right person to be deepening a relationship with.

These tips aren’t for every conversation you have online. But it’s important people know you care about more than the product or service you are selling, and that you’re a real human being capable of engaging, feeling and being authentic.

Online friendships can remain at a superficial level for a long time. But when we take the opportunity to deepen those connections, perhaps even bringing them offline, it’s amazing what can happen. What tips do you have for connecting with individuals in real and authentic ways?

What’s Your Social Media Foundation?

Pam Moore - Marketing NutPam Moore at Marketing Nut published a blog post last week entitled “My Promise to You Social Media Friends.” In it, she related how the recent passing of her Granny made her reflect on how thankful she is for the relationships in her life, including those with her blog readers and social media friends.

She concludes the piece with a very revealing set of questions. I wonder how many of us ever truly consider them as we tweet, share, post and blog. They are:

What is your foundation for social media? What are your beliefs? What promises are you living or do you need to make to your social media friends?

If you’ve ever written a business or marketing plan, the answers to these questions should be a part of it. And those answers should be consistent with how you implement and use your social media accounts.

For me, both my company and my online interactions are guided by a biblical passage found in Ephesians 4:29.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

I believe that everyone of us has unique gifts and abilities. When we use our gifts to contribute to the world around us, the world becomes a better place to live in.

My particular gift is to take complex ideas and communicate them in ways that are easy to understand. I did that for over 20 years as a technical writer and trainer. I’m doing it now as a speaker and consultant. And that is why this blog will always be used to educate my readers, providing you with useful information that builds up your ability to market your product or service online.

I wholeheartedly believe in the old Chinese proverb:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I know that a lot of my readers are do-it-yourself-type people, whether by nature or due to financial constraints. While Aleweb is here to serve your social marketing needs, we will always have a firm commitment to teaching you how to fish as well.

So, to echo Pam’s questions… What is your foundation for social media? What are your beliefs? What promises are you living or do you need to make to your social media friends? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Do You Have a Social Media Will?

[10/29/2015 Update: The government article referenced below
has since been taken down, although the content is still relevant.]

I know… I know… This post is a bit off topic for my usual social media writing. I’m not going to teach you today how to do any neat things with your social profiles. I’m not going to recommend new sites or tools to play with. (Well… maybe I’m not). Instead, what I’m going to do is pose a very important question.

Do you have a social media will?

You may be wondering to yourself, “what the heck is she talking about?” But bear with me for a minute. In April 2012, the U.S. government updated their Personal Finance article about writing a will. Their updated recommendation got a lot of folks in the social media world buzzing because they added a section about writing a “Social Media Will.”

Pundits considered what this might look like and discussed the potential issues involved in writing one. For example, a will is a legal document and, as such, it is a matter of public record. Part of the challenge is, you’re supposed to provide your social media executor with a list of all your social profile user names and passwords along with instructions as to what you’d like done with them. Obviously, you don’t want those as part of any public record!

In addition, good internet protocol requires regularly updating your passwords, and new sites come along all the time requiring new accounts and related passwords. So how do you keep your social media directive up-to-date?

While no one likes to think of their own demise, this topic hit home for me when my fiance died late last year. While he wasn’t “into” social media, he did have multiple e-mail accounts, a blog, and a couple of social profiles out there. He was also moderator of a very active Yahoo Group. I was thankful that he had given me his e-mail password long ago, and that ultimately allowed me to identify and access his other accounts.

It came to mind for me again this week when Tony Robbins’ long-time business partner, Chet Holmes, passed away on August 13, and a friend of mine, Howard Tuckey, posted on Facebook the same day about discovering that an online friend of his had passed away. Howard and I got talking about how some of the friendships we develop online are as real and as lasting as those we have in person, even though we may never actually meet in person. Some even become like family, or “eKin,” to us.(By the way, Howard and I have been online friends since the late ’80s, and we’ve never met — that we can recall — there was that TEXTMOOT we may have jointly attended…)

Anyway, as we discussed how it is that online friends find out about the passing of another, Howard and I thought of a few different ideas. Of course, out of respect for families and legal due process, such announcements should be initiated by the family or with their permission, however, it would be an interesting element to cover in a social media will. Why not, in addition to leaving account names, passwords and disposition instructions, leave instructions as to how friends connected with those accounts are to be informed of one’s death?

So, here’s what I propose a social media will consist of. But please note, I’m not a lawyer and haven’t run this past a lawyer, so there may be some flaw in it. Don’t sue me!

RoboformRather than writing out all the profile names, passwords and instructions for each site, use a tool like Roboform to manage your account information. (You can download a copy here.)

  1. In the Notes section for each entry, specify what you want done with the account in the event of your death, and if and how connections to the account should be notified.
  2. Store the password to your Roboform account with your legal documents in a safe place, making sure that your social media executor knows where it is stored.
  3. Make sure it stays current as you change your Roboform password.

The nice thing about using Roboform in this way is that your account can be accessed from any computer, so long as the person has your account and password info for it. This way, even family members who live halfway across the country can process your instructions without having access to your computer.

Happiness, Joy and Big Fat Klout Scores Indeed!

joyful rodent Pictures, Images and Photos

Photo courtesy of Photobucket user l5gcw0b

A friend of my mine shared a link to an article on Facebook this morning. The title caught my attention. “Happiness, joy and big fat Klout scores.” Hmm…  I had to click on the link and see what that was about. (If you’re still with me at this point, can you wait until you’ve finished reading this post before abandoning it to go read that one? Or at least come back here when you’re done? Thanks!  :-))

The author, Mark Schaefer, makes a very good point, and it’s well worth reading in his own words, even though the post is almost a year old now. The message is still timely.

Are you using social media to create happiness, joy or a big fat Klout score? These are three major distinctions, and your purpose has a lasting affect on how useful your marketing will be.

Let’s look first at the Klout score, because I know so many people like to see how they can manipulate that score and others like them (Kred, PeerIndex, etc.). Your Klout score is based on an algorithm that looks at how influential your social media presence is. It’s not a bad thing to be aware of to see if your strategy is accomplishing what you’d hoped it would. But I see it as a yardstick to measure effectiveness, not as a goal to be achieved. No one is ever going to praise you at your funeral for that awesome Klout score you had.

The next one we’ll tackle is happiness. Everyone would agree, happiness is a good thing to share within your social networks. Just to be clear though, as Mark puts it:

… There is a difference between happiness and joy.  You can be happy about a hamburger.  You can be happy about a song. Happiness is temporary.  Joy is peace.

Within your social marketing strategy, happiness would be offering that free sample of your book, or a discount code for your product or services. It’s a temporary thing that people are happy to share with their friends and connections, but it has no lasting effect.

If the purpose of your social marketing is to create “happy customers,” you’ll be engaged in a constant quest to find that next thing that will spark them to action and brighten their day. Offering them the same thing repeatedly will eventually lose its charm and appeal.

However, when you understand the reason for the journey you, personally, are on, and the difference you want to make in the world around you, you understand your why. It becomes easier to make business decisions because you have something to navigate by.

I recently had the opportunity to speak on a topic that I have the knowledge and skill to speak on, but it’s not part of what I’m trying to accomplish with my life and my business right now. When I was still unclear about my why, I would have taken the speaking opportunity even though it was a bit in left-field. Yet, now I could see that it wasn’t relevant to what I’m working to accomplish. I was able to offer up another topic that was in alignment with my purposes, and that was suitable for the audience. It worked out incredibly well. However, even if the speaking engagement had fallen through, it would have been alright because I wasn’t chasing down a rabbit trail that distracted me from my purpose.

When you know your why, you feel joy in your work and it’s reflected in your social media activities. Joy is lasting. It’s contagious even! When you are joy-filled, others want to be around you, and they want to learn why you are the way you are.

It’s often said, “People don’t remember what you say, but how you made them feel.” When you engage in your social marketing activities with joy, people that want what you have naturally start appearing. The message spreads, not because of what you’ve said, but because of how you’ve made them feel. No discount coupon or Klout score is ever going to accomplish that for you.


So, what’s your WHY? What energizes you about what you do, and makes you ready to get up each day to tackle it again? Share it below. We’d love to hear about it.

On the Art of Becoming “Someone” on Twitter

Twitter engagement https://alewebsocial.comA friend asked recently:

My boss is interested in generating interest via twitter. I’ve “searched” his name and character’s name and “followed” people who are tweeting good stuff about him. How do you get people to follow you? How do you become “someone” on twitter? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Do you have similar questions? You’ve created a Twitter account, tweeted a few times, followed some interesting folks, but still haven’t figured out how to gain a following.

The easy answer is “engage them.” But that probably doesn’t really answer your question. “Engage who? And how?” you might ask.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a fan of real, authentic engagement. So, you won’t find me “buying” followers, auto-responding, etc. While some of the links I share are pre-scheduled, they are created by me. Responses you get, you’re getting from me.

Now, I could sit in my office and wait for people to pass by (in my Twitter feed), and say “hi” as they march along. But that would become redundant and unfulfilling over time. Instead, I proactively strive to be useful to my followers. I go to where they are, rather than waiting passively for them to find me.

I once had a boss whom I loved. He didn’t just have an open door policy… He took it upon himself to take periodic breaks throughout his very long day and “wander among us.” He’d stick his head in at my door and ask how my day was going, if there was anything I needed to move forward on a project, etc. He wasn’t micro-managing. He was showing a genuine interest in me as a person and the work I was doing. As a result, he created a bond of loyalty that’s almost impossible to create in any other way.

So, how does this apply to building a Twitter following? Effectively using social media means applying the best leadership skills available; those that recognize people as individuals with unique interests, needs and skills. It means not only responding to people when you’re spoken to, but being willing to start conversations yourself and join conversations that are in progress already (if you have anything useful to add).

There are tools and techniques I use to make it easier to find those I want to build stronger bonds with, whether they are following me already or not. Here are just a few of them:

  • Participate in Tweetchats that catch your interest. Wouldn’t it be valuable to connect with others who share that interest? If you’re not familiar with Tweetchats, they are conversations that take place on Twitter, often at a specific time, using a given hashtag. (To learn more about hashtags, check out Hashtags Demystified.) Some of my favorites include #LeadChange, #LeadFromWithin, #BookPro, #SocMed and #SlumberParty.
  • Find the tools that work for you in filtering the information firehose that is Twitter. With over 2,000tps (tweets per second) going out on Twitter any given day, there’s just no way to take it all in. There are many tools out there to help you work your way through the fluff to the gems. A few of my favorites are Hootsuite, Bottlenose and InboxQ.
    • Hootsuite allows me to create Twitter streams filtered by those I follow or specific hashtags and keywords I’m interested in, as well as allowing me to post content to my own profiles immediately or on a schedule.
    • Bottlenose allows me to see which conversations my connections are currently engaged in. (It has a really neat sonar interface!)
    • InboxQ allows me to watch for people who are posting questions that I can answer. Thereby, allowing me to engage in conversations that may not even have gotten started yet!
  • Share relevant content with those that follow you. There are a few ways to find good content. You don’t have to create it all yourself. I use paper.li as a great way to curate relevant content from others, Twylah to share my own great content, and the bufferapp browser extension to share what I’m reading.
  • Use Twitter directories both to share about who you are, and to find people you may be interested in getting to know more. Some of the more popular are Twellow, WeFollow and TweetFind.

As you interact with people online that you like, follow them! If they enjoyed the conversation, they may follow you back. Keep in mind, as you strive to “be someone” on Twitter, that to be someone, you have to be real and authentic. Focus on growing relationships rather than making sales. As you do, you’ll find that sales come naturally as a result.


What are your favorite methods of growing your Twitter following? Please share them below!

Personalizing the eBook Experience

Kindlegraph | Aleweb Social Marketing

One of the greatest thrills of a reader’s experience is when they can have a favorite author autograph one of their books. As a collector of signed, first editions, that’s always been one of my biggest hesitations in adopting the eBook experience.

What if I fall in love with a book and have a chance to get an author’s autograph? If I read it in eBook form, I’d have to spend the money twice on it; once for the eBook, then to buy a hardcopy to have the author sign. Bummer!

And from the author’s standpoint, what does that do to good old-fashioned book signings. Half of your readership probably purchased your book on an eReader, so what’s the point of a book signing? Or how do you recapture the thrill of attending one?

Or perhaps for financial, distribution or speed-to-market reasons, you opted to for an eBook-only version of your latest book. So, you don’t even have a print copy to sign! Does that mean you have to miss out on the relationship-building experience of sharing your autograph with adoring fans?

Not anymore! Last summer, Kindlegraph appeared on the scene, and it could just be an answer to your prayers. Currently, there are over 3,500 authors currently registered with the site, and over 15,000 books listed. So, you’d be in good company.

But what exactly is a Kindlegraph? It’s a personalized, autographed page for your eBook, of course! The Kindlegraph service enables authors to sign eBooks for their readers for free, and not just for those with Kindles. Kindlegraphs are available as a PDF or an AZW version.

Start by signing in with Twitter and then entering your AISN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) at http://www.kindlegraph.com/books/new. (The AISN is right after the ‘dp’ in the URL of your book on Amazon.com. For example, in the URLhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/0061977969, the ASIN is0061977969.)

Next, provide the e-mail address where you want to be notified of pending autograph requests. It’s that simple! Within minutes, your book is added to the Kindlegraph library. (Note: Since books are added via an Amazon designator, your eBook needs to be available on Amazon.)

When a fan spots your book listed, they request a Kindlegraph from you. Once a day, you are sent an e-mail with the list of pending requests. You go into the system, type a personalized message, and then “sign” the eBook. This can be done by actually signing your name using a mousepad (or using your finger on a tablet), or you can use a stylized script instead.

Personally, until other signing options are available (like uploading your signature), I’d consider signing your John Hancock with an “X” or using the stylized script. Signing with the mousepad is like drawing something in MS Paint on the freehand setting; very unforgiving unless you’re highly skilled at it. Perhaps using your finger on a tablet is easier, but I didn’t get a chance to test that out.

When you’re done, your signature is added to the cover page of your eBook, and the Kindlegraph is then sent to the reader (to their Kindle, if they have an e-mail address on file for it, or e-mail address).

Once you’re done processing that request, move on to the next one in the list. You can write a different message with each request you receive (and practice signing your name again – perhaps you’ll master the technique with time!).

Another thing to note is that you should add your own books to the Kindlegraph library. Since you sign in with Twitter, when you add a book it’s automatically associated with your account. Your name is listed as the author, etc. So, when you add a book for someone else, the author name that’s displayed is yours, not theirs! Avoid the confusion, and add your own books! Don’t delegate this to anyone else unless they also have the authority to sign in using your Twitter profile.

With the first book you add to the site, an author’s page is made for you where fans can see all the eBooks you have available for autographing. There is also a customized widget that you can load onto your website that will take visitors directly to your Kindlegraph author page.

I love how innovative people, like Kindlegraph’s creator Evan Jacobs, find ways to retain what’s best about “the old days” and bring them into the 21st century. Don’t you?


Are you going to add your eBook to the Kindlegraph library? If you do, post a link to your Kindlegraph listing below!

Storifying Your Story

As many of my regular readers know, I am completely in favor of reusing good content in new and existing ways to increase the visibility of that content on the Web. If you’ve been reading me for some time now, you’ll also know that I believe in being a Go Giver. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, but when you’re in business or marketing a product, it’s not about you. The key to success is in the relationships you build, and the value you provide.

That can turn into a lot of work if you think you need to do something different for each person you connect with. But sometimes, if a gift is thoughtful, the same thing can be given to multiple people. Now I’m not talking about giving all of your friends and family the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story. I’m talking about giving them something they can use at their convenience and to their benefit; something that when they’re done, they think of you with gratitude.

Many of my author clients find themselves in positions where they are interviewed on radio, they speak at a conference, or participate in TweetChats. For many people, once the material goes “out into the Ether,” that’s it. The moment has passed and it’s on to the next project.

Yet, these days, radio content and conference materials have their own designated Twitter hastag or are shared on Facebook and other platforms. (For more on how hashtags work, check out Hashtags Demystified.)Sometimes the conversations move so quickly, it can be hard to thread all the information together in a way that’s easy to understand, though.

Or if you’re at a conference, you may want to offer a conference momento with photos, tweets, and video content from the best speakers.

Generosity is rewarded time-and-time again. Taking the extra few minutes to show that you enjoyed the experience and were thankful to participate generates warm feelings directed toward you.

So, what to do, what to do?

There’s a tool that can help you repurpose that material, and shape it into a format that fellow participants will enjoy, and those who weren’t there can still feel like they were part of the experience!

The answer is Storify. This site allows you to pull in content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google, and to embed a URL. You can add the content to your story in any order you choose, including creating actual threads for the conversations that took place in all these sources. You can also add your own text to the story, and be as creative as you’d like with it! If there are off-topic conversations taking place, you can leave those out of the story to create a tight and useful resource for your readers.

When you’re done, publish the story and Storify will prompt you to notify any of the featured contributors to the story. You can also add anyone else you’d like to have notified as well, which makes it easier for the story to reach a broader audience.

I recently participated in a #BookPro TweetChat. We had some great lines of conversation going all at once. Storifying the content (like my new verb?) enabled me to reorder the conversations into easy-to-read snapshots.

Now, I could have stopped there, and just shared it with those whom I notified directly. But Storify lets me take it even further. I can then export my story to a number of different platforms, including WordPress (both free and self-hosted sites), Tumblr, Drupal, Posterous and MailChimp. Alternatively, I can use the embed code to add the story to my own site. This allows me to share the content with the rest of my network via my blog and mailing list.

So, the next time you’re creating content, whether it’s live or online, give some thought to how you can create a larger audience reusing that content. After all, we all know how time-intensive it can be to create something from scratch. So, why not leverage existing content to the fullest extent, and then continue to share new, great content from there!

In the meantime, enjoy my #BookPro story! And if you’re an author looking for more great ideas like this, you may want to purchase my eBook The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books.