Help organize the Third Tuesday Social Media Meetups

A chance to give back

Are you interested in helping to organize a monthly event that gives social media enthusiasts in your community an opportunity to to meet others who share their interests, learn from one another, and hear from some great speakers on social media topics? If so, read on, because I’m going to ask for you help.

Third Tuesdays: social media and the culture of generosity

Third TuesdayOne of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in the past two years has been to be part of Third Tuesday. Third Tuesday has provided me with a great opportunity to mix with others who share my interest in social media and to learn from them.

During the past two years, some top speakers have been part of Third Tuesday: Shel Israel, Shel Holtz, Richard Binhammer, Mathew Ingram, Michael Geist, Mark Evans, Colin McKay, Anthony Williams, Rob Hyndman, Michael McDerment, Saul Colt, Katie Paine, Marcel LeBrun, Stephen Taylor, Paul Wells, Marshall Sponder, Mitch Joel, Alex and Ali de Bold, Darren Barefoot, Jesse Brown, Brendan Hodgson, Giovanni Rodriguez, Danielle Donders, Ryan Anderson, Marc Snyder, David Jones, Terry Fallis, Julie Rusciolelli, Keith McArthur and Martin Waxman. And that’s just the Ottawa and Toronto line-up.

By the way, all of our speakers donated their time and efforts to us. Our speaking budget is zero. So, a special thank you to our speakers! You truly have acted in the spirit of generosity.

A community needs organizers

Third Tuesday in Toronto and Ottawa were originally established by a group of bloggers who followed one another’s writing online. We thought it would be a great idea to meet in real life as well as virtually. And we thought that it would be even better if we could open it up to others who shared our interest.

In Ottawa, the founding group included Colin McKay, Ian McKinnon and Brendan Hodgson.The original Third Tuesday Toronto group included David Jones, Terry Fallis, Chris Clarke and Ed Lee. During the past year, Donna Papacosta, Michael O’Connor Clarke and Parker Mason have joined the group of Third Tuesday Toronto boosters and organizers.

In 2007, Third Tuesday groups started in Montreal, Vancouver, and New Brunswick. And now there’s a group of people who are coming together to organize a Third Tuesday Calgary.

Thanks to those who spontaneously organized Third Tuesdays in their communities: Michelle Sullivan, Mylene Forget, Chris Moore, Nicolas Cossette, Marc Snyder, Pierre Bouchard, Mitch Joel, Tod Maffin, Tanya Davis, Monica Hamburg, Lisa Rousseau, David Alston, Dan Martell, and Chris Nadeau.Woof. That’s a lot of people. That’s a lot of commitment.

Keeping it relevant; Keeping it inclusive

Every good event and group evolves with the times and with the changing composition of its participants.

A good community event should reflect the interests of the community it serves.

As we look forward to the third year of Third Tuesday in Ottawa and Toronto, it’s time to ensure that we don’t become stale and inward looking. And the best way to do this is to open up the direction and organization of Third Tuesday to a broader group of people.

So, if you share our enthusiasm for exploring social media and you’re prepared to contribute your time and energy to making sure that Third Tuesday serves the community, please consider being part of the organizing group.

What can I do?

What’s required of the organizers? Well,

  • Meet face to face twice a year. The rest of the time we connect and organize via email and Twitter.
  • Contribute your ideas of topics that people would be interested in discussing.
  • Have a network of people who could speak on one or more of these topics and be willing to extend an invitation to our speakers.
  • Be willing to act as M.C. at a session.
  • Be prepared to help coordinate the logistics (find us suitable locations; obtain gifts for guests, etc.).
  • Attend the events, look for new people and make sure they are introduced to others. This is about community and the best communities welcome new people and make them feel like they’re at home.
  • Spread the word about upcoming events and share what we’ve heard and learned by posting about each session on your blog.

Where do I sign up?

If you’d like to lend a hand to the organization of this year’s Third Tuesday Toronto, Third Tuesday Ottawa or Third Tuesday Calgary, leave a comment on this post or Twitter to “thornley.”

I’ll pull together a meeting of the organizers in early August.

What about money?

Of course, before you get involved with something like this, you’ll want to know whether it carries some type of financial commitment.

Well, we’ve been very fortunate for the past year in having a lead sponsor, CNW Group. (Disclosure: CNW is a Thornley Fallis client.) CNW has covered our largest single cost item, the sound system. We’re talking to them right now about supporting us again this year. More on that soon, I hope.

Pass it on

One final thing. If you’ve attended a Third Tuesday in the past and you’d like to see the series continue, please let other people know that we’re looking for others to join us in organizing. Twitter, post, podcast about it. Pass it on.