Saturday, January 2, 2010

Be A Play Maker, Not Just A Spectator

I feel like I learned something today. As I perused through Twitter, I noticed something odd. Patrick O'Keefe, or iFroggy to some, mentioned that the book "Managing Online Forums" was only a couple reviews away from 50 on Amazon.com. Ok, I thought to myself, maybe I can help him out.

When I clicked on the link, it took me to Amazon.com and there was a book, as expected. However, what I didn't expect to see was Patrick's name on the cover.

I sat at my desk looking around the page. Part of me was in shock and the other part confused. How come I didn't know Patrick wrote a book?

Not that Patrick and I go way back, I only met him recently at the Social Media Business Forum in October, but he never mentioned the book during our initial conversation. Maybe it's not one of those things one immediately says when they meet a person, but we talked a great deal about his experiences with speaking at conferences and online communities.

Patrick is a young looking guy, I believe he's probably around 25, but he has so many stories to tell. I recall him speaking at conferences with names like Robert Scoble, Chris Brogan, and the like. I even think he was on the panel with a couple of them.

Anyway, I knew these things, but had no idea he wrote a book. Curious about the book, I skimmed the table of contents and was surprised to find that it had around 300 pages. While it is a paperback book, 300 pages isn't something to scoff about. No, this book has substance.

At that moment, flashes of unrelated snippets flipped through my mind. Here is a guy that conducted a podcast interview with Gary Vaynerchuk, speaker and well-known author of the book Crush It!. Under the iFroggy Network, Patrick has 10+ years experience managing multiple online communities. He too is a speaker with a number of notable achievements. To say that I am blown away is an understatement.

All of these new realizations struck a cord in me. What am I doing? What is my contribution? Where is my product? What am I known for?

There are those of us that watch things happen. We sit on the sidelines and observe others run up and down the field. We can be spectators, announcers, or even reporters, but we are merely watching.

Then there are those of use that are play makers, producers, developers, and contributors. We are the ones who are out there hustling to produce something tangible and real. These people are the Patrick O'Keefe's, the Chris Brogan's, and the Jesse Stay's of the world.

What am I doing? What are you doing? What are we doing to make this place better? What product or service are we providing? What is our contribution?

When I think about people like Patrick O'Keefe, Chris Brogan, Jesse Stay, Louis Gray, Dave Winer, and Wayne Sutton, I want to follow their lead and do something that makes a difference. Even if it means taking my own neck of the woods and helping to make it better than when I found it.

Be a play maker not just a spectator.

Until next time...

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Image via pnthr90

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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