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When I found out that I would be coming to the Los Angeles area for a short time, I wanted to try to meet up with some people in the area. So, I was talking to my friend Ricardo Bueno who lives in the city and we were going back and forth about it and… long story short, he agreed to plan a Tweetup (basically, a meet up of Twitter users). But, it’s not just for Twitter users – it’s for anyone who works online, is interested in social media, etc. Of course, I’ll be coming, along with 3 copies of “Managing Online Forums” to giveaway.

It’ll be on January 14, from 6 PM to 9 PM local time, at BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant in Glendale. We are going to have dinner, but if you just want to have drinks or stop by for a short time – that’s perfectly fine. And if you don’t drink, don’t worry – neither do I! :)

If you live in the Los Angeles area or, at least, are in town on that day, I’d love to meet you. Please RSVP on Facebook and/or Upcoming. We already have a number of people set to come, but the more – the merrier! A big thanks to Ricardo for doing the ground work on this.

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Patrick on December 12th, 2008 in ManagingCommunities.com, Off Topic

With the holiday season upon us, it may be a little quiet around here toward the end of this month, but I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a happy, healthy and successful 2009!

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, linked and contributed to ManagingCommunities.com in 2008. I appreciate all of the support that I receive from readers!

Thank you for visiting ManagingCommunities.com.

Now that I have returned from Blog World Expo 2008, have had some time to catch up and process the experience, I thought I’d write a detailed personal recap, to share how the trip went and, also, to document it for myself, in the future. This is a super long, highly detailed post. Emphasis on personal and long. You have been warned. :)

Thursday

I was due to fly out late Thursday morning, on September 18. Only thing… my entire family was coming down with a nasty stomach bug. So, while I attempted to sleep, the sounds of them being sick woke me up and kept me up all night and I ended up receiving around four hours of sleep, or so. Not only that, but it felt like I was coming down with it because, an hour before I was to leave, I was sick. Lovely.

The main thing I thought of was how much planning had gone into this trip. I wasn’t just attending the conference, I wouldn’t just be out of a substantial amount of money. I had two panels and a book signing and I had other people that had worked for me to be there and were relying on me to be there. If there was any way I could go, I was going to go.

I basically told myself it was nerves, not an actual illness like the rest of my house (some might call this denial, heh), and pushed myself to get ready and go, make the hour and a half car ride and get to the airport, nauseous much of the time. Worse yet, I had a horrendous flight path. Norfolk, VA to Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA to Las Vegas, NV. About 10 hours in all, from start to finish. I gritted my teeth and made it. The last one and a half plane rides were not bad as I started to feel better.

From the airport, the cab driver seriously – seriously ripped me off. I had no basis of what the proper fare was as I had forgotten to look into that. We’re talking double the regular fare rip off.

I got to the hotel, the Las Vegas Hilton, around 6 PM local time and met with my friends Brandon Eley and Chrispian Burks, for dinner. I hung out with Brandon and Chris for the vast majority of the conference. We had planned to head to a meet up hosted by my pal (and fellow panelist) Jason Falls, but we were dead tired – I was half falling asleep at dinner. So, that is where my first night in Vegas ended – in bed before 9 PM. But, I fell asleep the moment I hit the pillow and slept 8 hours straight – this turned out to be the only good night of sleep I’d get while at the conference.

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Should I Get Into Consulting?

Posted by Patrick on August 12th, 2008 in Off Topic, Thinking

I’ve been thinking about this for a little while, so I wanted to kick it out there and see what people think.

I didn’t really write the book to become a consultant. Some people find this funny or, at least, interesting, but I didn’t. I know that’s what a lot of people do (either to enhance a consulting business or become one) and that’s not a bad idea. I didn’t really want to do it with my first book. I wanted the message to speak for itself, not for it to feel as though I was holding something back, something that you would have to pay me to learn. In the book, I talked about everything. EVERYTHING I’ve had to deal with. I held nothing back.

My firm belief is that if you offer something of true value and you work hard to get it out there, that stuff can come later. I wrote the book because I wanted to, because I’m passionate about managing online communities and I felt that I had experience to share. Some people think this is crazy and that’s fine.

But, I’ve had multiple people suggest I get into consulting, that I start helping people, organizations, corporations and others to develop and improve their community strategy. As I have thought about it, it has started to appeal to me, for a few reasons:

I can help people. I like talking about managing online communities and social spaces and I know I can help people to develop their strategies. I can’t program, I can’t provide technical solutions like that. But, that’s not what it is about. It’s about strategy, policies, ideas and solutions. And that’s what I can provide.

I can keep running my network. Please don’t mistake me thinking about consulting as wanting to stop running websites. That’s not true. I love running communities and websites and working in consulting will allow me to continue to do this (see below, re: money). I don’t know, quite honestly, that I want a full time business that depends on clients. I would consult on a very part time basis. A few hours over the phone, a couple days on site – that sort of thing.

I don’t really have time to do much in the way of cold calling or client acquisition. I can make myself available, put myself out thereĀ and see if people contact me. If they don’t, fine. If they do, fine.

I could use the money. I could definitely use the extra income.

So, it seems like a win, win, win: I can help people, I can keep running my websites and I can make some more money, allowing me to do more. My focal point, as I said, would be strategy, really in the management of the community itself and the infrastructure. That’s what I enjoy most and where I feel I can help most.

Due to my level of experience, due to the book, due to the conferences I am attending and the speaking I am doing, I am getting myself out there and giving myself an opportunity to do this. It seems to make sense and it seems like a good idea.

Anyway, enough of me talking. With all of this said, what do you think? Does this sound like a good idea? Would you hire me? Any other thoughts?

As I think some programmers and designers read this blog, I wanted to mention that we just launched a great competition tonight at phpBBHacks.com. We call it phpBBHacks.com phpBB 3 Hacks Idol and phpBBHacks.com phpBB 3 Styles Idol.

Basically, all new phpBB 3 hacks and styles from this point through the deadline on July 4, will be pitted one on one against one another until we have two winners – one hacks winner and one styles winner. What’s in it for them, you ask? Their choice of an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Asus Eee, Archos 605, iPod Touch or Amazon Kindle and a ton of other great prizes, provided by sponsors such as Chitika, W3 Markup and SitePoint.

So, if you can write a phpBB hack or create a phpBB style – please check it out!