Ideas are great things…

#100Connections was an idea I had almost a month ago now and I still love it. A way to connect almost-randomly with people you would otherwise never have met has proved to be a really life-affirming experience for me — and I hope, some of the others involved. But, like any idea, it should have been thought through first. Because, despite the proactive enthusiasm of my new connections, I’ve lost control of it a bit.

Without a dedicated platform, #100Connections has been focussed around Twitter. Conversations have broken out into email, Skype and LinkedIn, but in the main, it’s been Twitter. Because of the way Twitter works, unless I’ve documented things immediately, I’ve lost streams, missed messages and failed to act on things I should have acted on.

Here’s some of the mishaps that keep me awake at night:

  • I know someone created a Google Doc for everyone to record the support they’re looking for, but before I got the chance to do anything with it, I lost it in my Twitter feed and now I can’t remember who it was (I’m really sorry)!
  • I know a couple of Tweets came in asking for me to support by sharing something, but at the time I was in a meeting or otherwise unable to do it that minute. Again – by the time I got to it, it had disappeared into my Twitter ether.
  • I also know that prolific #100Connectionner Ingrid sent me a link to a way of bulk Tweeting the group. Again, I lost the link.
  • Finally, I know it’s taken me a long time to respond to some messages and take action!

There’s been so much positivity and so much input around the idea, that it deserves to be capitalised on. It’s just been hard to keep it all together without a dedicated place for it all and a few parameters for how to instigate it in the first place.

What to do about it

The #100Connections idea, if it’s going to work better and for more people, needs a little tweaking. Yes, it needs an instigator, but it needs to be a community where everyone can input, support, converse and keep the momentum going – rather than waiting for the instigator to get on top of everything.

The idea of 101 people connecting almost-randomly around an altruistic sense of community forged from mutual support is a great one. Where this has worked, it’s been amazing, but, if this is something that might spread for others to benefit from then it needs a model.

I’m sure some of the #100Connections think I’m not doing anything with the idea – the lack of dedicated blog updates and direct Tweets being the main indicator. But as I’ve focussed on starting to provide support individually as I promised at the outset, this has moved to more direct one-to-one conversations. I’ve actually been more involved with the project than ever, just not at engaging the group.

The sheer volume of things to do has also led to slow progress on providing some support. This also leads me to believe that if a platform was there to enable participants to support each other, it would be quicker, more powerful, more engaging for everyone.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the idea for a social network based on the #100Connections principles. I think that would work really well. I also think we have the skills among the 100 to build it ourselves. I think we should do it, but I also need to find a way to fund it first.

Enough of the reflection. It feels a little negative. It’s not!

Here’s some of the things that have been happening:

  • Amazing conversations are continuing with amazing people. I’m truly inspired by the diversity within the group and the potential power behind what we could achieve for each other.
  • I set up a #100Conversations Collection on Medium and added us all as contributors. If you want to publish on Medium and submit your article to the collection, that would be amazing. It doesn’t have to be about the #100Connections, it can be on anything you like, although equally it can be based on your experience with this.
  • I’m working on some ideas to collectively work on with the original #100. I’m inspired by you and would love to talk to you more and even meet some of you to provide support in person. I’m working on an idea to do that and document it – more on that soon. If that’s going to happen, I also want to be documenting how we support each other, so it’s all a little catch-22 with progress on some things at the moment!

What else can we do? Someone in the early days suggested a curated Kickstarter Page, where we could all share our projects and support each other to get things funded. Does that sound good?

Share some suggestions!

The 100 Connections Action Plan:
  • Create a set of parameters so that others could try the #100Connections idea and have it work seamlessly!
  • Build a platform to carry that, so we can spread it to the world.
  • Document the first #100Connections.
  • Provide the support needed/ promised.
  • Get control of things as they are now.
  • Continue the amazing conversations with amazing people.

I’d love for the original 100 to share their experiences and thoughts – maybe via the Medium collection. This has been an amazing experience so far and I want to make sure we keep it going!

By Andy Swann on October 21, 2014.
Exported from Medium on July 15, 2016.