Over the past couple of months, we’ve been sharing interviews from our #huntTheAwesome YouTube video series. The series features influential community leaders sharing their stories of building communities, plans for the future, and reflections on interesting one-on-one connections they have seen happen as a direct result of their work.
This project has been a dual effort for Peoplehunt, meant both to help us develop the best product possible for our users and also to share with you the best practices we could find for helping you get connected to each other.
So far we’ve met with some amazing influencers. We had the chance to catch up with David Lang, Co-Founder of OpenROV and a crucial member of the Maker community at Maker Faire in NYC; DJ Spooky and Deirdre Haj, director, at IFP; Dina Kaplan of Blip.tv and Tony Bacigalupo, Mayor or New Work City Co-Working space, at the Work Revolution Summit; and Ned Sherman, the CEO of DMW at his DMW Games Conference.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
1. We talked to Tony Bacigalupo about his passion: Co-Working. Here’s what he had to say…
…Maybe the ‘awesomest’ thing about a co-working space is it’s ability for serendipity to happen in predictable and unpredictable ways… you’re gonna bump into somebody interesting, and you’re going to make an interesting connection, you’re going to have an interesting conversation… what’s amazing is that we don’t design for it beyond creating the circumstances that allow it to happen.”
Software is something which can allow us to connect to each other in ways where we have something in common that we never would have known had we not had that software to help us find that out”
2. Dina Kaplan co-founder of Blip.tv spoke to us at WorkRevolutionSummit about her extensive experience in the video blogging startup world. Her interview touches on how creating relationships over social media can build trust before you meet the person, what Scott Heiferman and Meetup.com are doing to help communities connect, and how meeting a connector can change your life:
There is a lot of power in developing connections with connectors. They really can change your life, so I actually tell people, throughout the course of your day, notice the people in your life who other people are congregating around… and, if you click with them, be mindful of that and be open to introductions that people make for you.”
3. David Lang built a community by asking the internet for help to build an Underwater Robot. So how does he keep his community engaged?
It’s the people that really make the project special…. and to really keep that going, you got to keep throwing fuel on the fire… keep adding value… keep contributing…”
We’re always thinking about ways that we can… add value to our community… provide them with new tools, connect them with more people…”
By connecting members of his community based on specialized interests and needs, OpenROV ignited projects that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise:
Archeologists who were going to Mexico to explore these underwater caves in Mexico really wanted an Open ROV… we don’t have any extra ones laying around but we can connect you with Colin [an OpenROV community member]… so Colin flew to Mexico… they found these Mayan artifacts, and got to see things that no one had ever seen before, just because we connected those two groups.”
4. DJ Spooky, “a writer, an artist and a musician”, has built a community over time that reflects global issues, pan humanism and his own cultural perspective. He thinks that’s the right way to go:
I’m a big fan of this idea that sound and djing is about pan humanism – dj culture is global, and whether you’re in Brazil, China, Russia, India, you name it, people deal with beats you know, and it’s a beautiful thing, and I think that people really respond to my work comes from the viewpoint of someone who has really done a lot of research about art and it’s relationship to technology, and also at the same time from the viewpoint of a progressive sense of what African American culture kind of can be a vantage point from because we really I think have experienced a different kind of approach to America and many people around the world are trying to figure that out. So we are the sound of the United States, whether it’s rock, jazz, blues, hip hop, you name it, it comes from this African American experience that just is a very powerful statement about what it means to be human.”
The way to meet people at our landscape is to go to their screenings. Show up, go to the Q&A session afterwards, and just walk up to them afterward. Give them your business card and you’re going to end up seeing them later in the day.”
She found social media to be an important component of letting people discover what’s happening, and as a side effect, find each other:
…By keeping people engaged on twitter, and our social media, people are able to find each other. They just reuse those hashtags and they know where things are happening…”
Nothing’s going to replace sitting down and sharing a meal together, and we want to make that happen too, but tech may be the way that you find each other.”
6. Ned Sherman, CEO of DMW, is the creator of events that bring people together, face-to-face, across the digital media industry, people who are hunting for education, and potential business partners. He noted that they have traditional methods to encourage people to meet the right people:
we have coffee breaks, and lunch breaks, dinners, receptions, some of them are invite only, some of them are open to a general ticket purchaser.”
He said that a great way to add more value in connection with the face-to-face events is to use “software programs that will allow attendees to meet online prior to the event, to do research about one another and to set up meetings, and sync calendars”
If you missed out on any of the videos, you can check them out on our Peoplehunt YouTube Channel, or here on the blog.
What do you think about these tips for connecting? Share your insights with us below!