On Tuesday I spoke at the #140conf in Boston. It was an amazing event. I shared my family’s story about how we were separated during El Salvador’s civil war and our journey to reunite. I also talked about how we are using social media and the web to bring our story to more people. I hope to have a video of it for those of you who weren’t able to attend.
The response and feedback from the talk was overwhelming at first. It’s always been our dream to share this story with the world and getting such a strong reaction was so encouraging. Thank you to everyone who came up after to talk with me. It was great meeting all of you and your kindness means the world to us.
Here are some of the talks I enjoyed the most.
The Rock Star Panel
It was every interesting to hear this group. I drew a lot of parallels between what we are doing and what they are doing. In some ways we both entertain people. I’m not sure that’s the best way to describe what our family’s story is about, but they are similar.
The most interesting thought was by Ted Cohen (@spinaltap) who said something to the effect of “I tell the artist that it’s not just about one spike in attention and that you have to manage it and keep it going.” This is so true. You can’t just get a little attention and call it a day. You need to build on it and keep it rolling!
Crowd Sourcing Cancer
What was interesting to me is that she is in a similar and yet different position as me. We are both trying to share our stories and connect with people. The difference is that there are many other people who related to her experiences. The challenge for me has always been that there are only a handful of people who have experienced what I have. I don’t have that community to turn to, so I have to find people who connect with the story in different ways.
Look for Work
I thought Chris Brogan‘s (@chrisbrogan) most profound thought had nothing to do with social media. He said “Look for work, not jobs.” I think he nailed it with that statement. This puts the responsibility back on you. You have to go out there and look for meaningful ways to provide value. We can no longer expect someone to tell us what to do.