*Disclosure Sometimes I do this because I want to #SharetheLove
I have walked into chocolate shops and candy stores before wishing I could have whatever I wanted. Here was my chance! I got to share the experience with my hubby. We were invited to the soft opening of the new See’s Candies store at the Promenade in Westlake. We jumped at the chance to go and try some of See’s famous chocolates.
The store was closed, in fact it was the day before the official opening day. We were with a small group of bloggers, media people, and VIP guests. Why were we there? To share this exciting news with you, of course!
If you are a chocolate lover like me, there is no doubt that you have this same dream. I will admit, it was a Diabetic’s nightmare – but chances like this do not come by often. Lito and I love See’s Candies and we had such a good time at the new store. We learned a lot about the company’s standards, it’s history, and the quality of it’s products. We sampled many pieces of chocolate and my sugar levels did spike, yet I have been very careful since that day.
Mostly, it was a fun date! We got to compete in a contest much like the episode from I love Lucy where we learned how to quickly hand pack a box of chocolates. We came home with some gifts that the boys enjoyed and plenty of sweets to indulge in later. And next time I need to get a gift, I know just the perfect thing!
Here is the famous scene from I Love Lucy:
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See’s Candies New Store Opens in Thousand Oaks @seescandies #seesatwestlake @thePromenade
Don’t forget to go in your local See’s Candies Shop and get your FREE Lollypop on July 20th – National Lollypop Day!
Thanks to the folks at Pirates Dinner Adventures for hosting me and my family and allowing me to experience their show first hand as a US Family Guide blogger. And best of all, I get to share their exclusive $25 off offer with you! (Disclosure)
“Set aboard an authentically replicated 18th-century Spanish galleon measuring 46 feet long, 18 feet wide with 40-foot masts, the ship is anchored in a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon with night sky lighting. Surrounding the lagoon is a six-sided showroom of six additional ships where the audience is seated.
Voyagers on each of the six ships have their own fearless pirate mascot whom they cheer on as the adventure unfolds with a cast a dozen actors, singers and stunt performers engaging in a bounty of action-packed exploits, accompanied by cannon blasts, pyrotechnics and plenty of laughs.
In addition, more than 150 guests have the chance to play an actual role in each show as the evil Captain Sebastian the Black leads his crews of renegades on a swashbuckling adventure before your very eyes!”
When my son became a pirate, he was chosen by one of the cast members at the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Show. By that time, many people, young and old, had been asked to join in the fun. He ran up with the rest of the swashbuckling young men and was eager to find out what his part would be.
What a fun adventure for all of us! The entertainment, music and songs, the food, the service – – everything about the experience was exciting, light-hearted and top notch. Anytime we have guests from out of town or for a special occasion, I plan to go there again and again.
This year’s New Media Expo in Las Vegas was amazing! I have so much to share that I could write an entire series on it. I have four conferences to attend on the horizon, so I feel the best way to share what I got out of each one is with highlights and photos. (Plus an exclusive INTERVIEW with Dino Dogan, of Triberr!)
I must admit I just got the EXPO pass and did not attend the full sessions. I still got a lot out of it and made the most of it. NMX makes it easy to order the video and audio version of all the sessions – so you don’t miss a thing! I wasn’t asked to promote this event, but I am happy to share my wonderful experience with you.
I wanted to meet Dino in person and ask him some questions about Triberr. I have learned so much and connected with so many wonderful bloggers through Triberr and I wanted to thank him. He and Dan Cristo are so gracious and helpful to all the members of Triberr and have been quick to respond to any questions that I have had through the process of becoming a tribe member and in building my own tribes. When I found out that Dino would be at NMX, I knew I would have a chance to get to know him.
I wouldn’t say that I exactly hunted Dino down in Las Vegas, but I did put a word out to him on Twitter and Facebook that my friends and I wanted to meet up with him. He was great about getting back to me and letting me know where he would be. We almost joined his group for dinner the first night. I was “looking out for him” the whole time the first day. Our paths crossed a few times and I had the chance to pass him my business card at Penn Jillette’s keynote presentation. But it wasn’t until the final hour at the Expo that I finally came face to face with Dino and had a chance to talk for a few minutes. In that amount time we talked about why meeting people in person was important, how Triberr makes it possible for any blogger to have a huge reach and participate in campaigns even when their “numbers” are low, and how the Affinity algorithm works on Triberr enabling your posts to show up high on your tribe mates’ stream when you share their posts. We could have gone on talking forever! I had so many questions and Dino was great about answering them all. (While standing in the middle of crowds of people at the Expo mind you!) We decided to talk later and set up an interview.
About an hour after I tweeted this on Tuesday 1/28…
“@dinodogan Hi there! I’d love to talk to you some more and follow up on my questions from NMX. Interview? Casual chat? Up to you. :)”
…we were on Skype deciding on a time and method for the interview. After some technical difficulties and postponing on my end – we spoke for 40 minutes last night and recorded a wonderful Q&A about “Building Your Blog Community.” From the Matrix to Mother Teresa, Dino sites quotes with a meaningful expression of love for what he does and why he is doing it. I asked him about how to leverage Triberr as a way to build my readership and grow my online community and we discussed the value of contributing your best work to the community and watch how it grows in leaps and bounds.
January 30, 2014
I asked Dino, How does being in a tribe grow my community? How do I get more readers?
He asked, What does a community mean to you? Does it mean comments, links, shares, in person connections, Skype, Twitter, Facebook connections?
Seeing my numbers go up. Stay on my blog longer. It’s a big black hole out there. You have a sense that someone is looking at it, but you don’t quite know. Only other bloggers comment on my blog.I want to reach out to other people through Triberr and to reach out to their people. I don’t want to hunt them down. I count my Twitter community.
Dino says, Forget about the online world. The community is basically a bunch of people. Ask, “How can I contribute to this community?”
I have to bring up the Matrix. Agent Smith says, “Humans are viruses.”
What can I get out of the community? That’s the wrong question to ask.
The right question to ask is, “What can I give to the community?”
Tiberr being the giant Karmic engine that it is, when you share other people’s stuff your stuff is placed in front of them through that Affinity Algorithm and you end up getting your content shared.
It takes a village to raise a blog. Now you have hundreds of other bloggers helping you and you helping them. It’s a community. It may not be a visible community. But people are sharing each other’s content.
I love that. Giving is what I do and I am on track with this, but then my business side comes out and I want to be proactive and engage more people.
Dino says, Let’s talk about taking your blog from being a platform or a community to being a business. I don’t make money on my blog, but I make money because of my blog. We don’t get enough traffic to make a living from ads on our site. We couldn’t make enough money through ads or affiliate marketing. We can use our blog as a platform to attract potential clients, partnerships and taking it to the next level. Social media is about escalating the intimacy. It is very easy to start a relationship on Twitter.We can peak into each other’s private lives on Facebook. This deepens the intimacy. We can take that to the next level with Skype and phone. Ultimately, face to face. This is the path to building relationships, building partnerships and building a clientele. Business happens in person. It doesn’t happen on Twitter.
What is your vision for community building and information sharing on Triberr in the next few years? Where are you going?
We are just three guys, Dan Cristo, Ralph Rivera and I and a community of amazing supporters that pitch in all the time. We have this big vision and we can’t deliver yesterday, it’s like – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
Our vision for the blogosphere, the blogs, is this: We want to turn the blogosphere into a giant social organism.
I want to connect with other people on my blog with links, but then we are told not to use links so much, it’s so frustrating!
Dino says, The best SEO advice – don’t listen to SEO advice.
He explains, WordPress is a publishing platform. How come people are more engaged on my Facebook than they are on my blog? Because Facebook has social in it’s DNA. We want blogs to become social platforms.
How do you do that from where you are at now?
When we release Triberr plug in – don’t install it now, but once we roll out the new Triberr plug which is being updated…go and install it. We will revamp it.
One feature is the Triberr Reblog – it is essentially a retweet for your blog post. It is a syndication feature. I call it “The Oprah feature.” The entire post it carries over the authorship. The comments are shared between the two posts as well. That’s one piece of how we can make publishing platforms more social. You can get your content syndicated across 50 blogs. It’s more opportunities for your content to be seen by more readers. If it’s in more places there is more opportunity for it to be seen.
These are little bites we can do to make blogs more social.
What do you suggest for small-time bloggers like me?
My advice to bloggers is to quit talking to everyone and direct your blog post to a single person. It’s total narrow casting. Not a single type of person. Some of the most successful blog posts are directed to a specific person. It’s the “Fly on the wall effect.”
This applies to speaking in front of large groups of people, for taking pictures, and in writing – everything that we do to build our community, it makes it that much more intimate.
You just reminded me of Mother Teresa. Paraphrasing: She said, “If I see a crowd of people that need help, I am paralyzed. But if I focus on a single person in that crowd and I focus on helping them, then I can actually take action.”
It works for writing too.
Thank you Dino for a great interview! I look forward to speaking to you again and talking more about blogging.