Last Friday we had the first Let’s Meet Up (for Training) Webinar and, oh my God, was it fun!
It was like a big raucous party line. Some of you might actually remember those old party lines…also called Shared Service or multi-party lines. (Yep, that’s right, you youngsters…way back in the day, phone lines were not private.)
My Grandma Hansen lived in a rural town of less than 200 in Missouri and I remember there being a local switchboard in their town when I was very, very little. Single line service phones were not the norm until the early 1970’s if you can believe that.
For the uninitiated, the way the party line worked is you’d pick up the phone and rotary dial for the operator. You’d let him or her know who you wanted to talk to and the operator would ring the other party’s house so they would pick up. Answering machines did not get popular until the 1980’s so if the person wasn’t home, you just had to call back later. Today, we can’t even fathom this kind of inconvenience.
On the party line, everyone could listen in at the same time if they wanted. (Can you imagine what a treasure trove this was for writers?? I’m just saying…) Our webinar was like that, just a great big party line of Twitter and More Cowbell pals.
We had the following attendees:
- Michele Blaker
- Bridgette Booth
- Jodi Janz
- Sharon Louise
- Angela McGill
- K.B. Owen
- Shellie Sakai
- Amy Shojai (Amy’s machine went kablooey so she is on the June list)
- Tiffany A. White
The way that the webinar works (for all you future winners):
- I send the GoToMeeting invitation in advance in an email that includes a link to that particular “meeting room,” the meeting ID and the phone number to use for the conference call.
- When you open my email, you click on the link as soon as possible so you can download the GoToMeeting software in advance. This ensures that you don’t have to wait for the software to download during the meeting time, thus missing the crazy fun chatting time described below.
- The day of the meeting, you call the conference line first so you can chat with people while you wait for the meeting to start. If everyone enables the audio controls when they start the call, you can actually see who is speaking – their name flashes on the screen as they talk.
- Once the meeting comes on, you watch my screen just like another window on your computer while you chat all the while.
The phone call wasn’t necessarily where the gut-busting laughter came into our Friday fun. No, the GoToMeeting Chat window was where everyone was cracking themselves up.
I was teaching LinkedIn so I didn’t get to catch all of it until I read through the chat transcript later, but here’s a sample of what our hilarious More Cowbell friends were up to in the chat window as they listened (very politely) to the class:
“OMG, how fun to hear everyone’s voices!”
“Oooh, I hear a fellow Texan!”
“Is that you, Sharon? You have such a sweet voice!”
“Talk again. Just say something so we can hear you…”
“Isn’t this fun?”
“OH, you’re @curiocat? I talk to you ALL THE TIME.”
“What’s your Twitter name?”
“Oh, wow, COOL…I’m following you already!”
“So, where do you live?”
“East Texas, by the LA border.”
Blog pals like you make it really tempting to have future contests be the chance to join a monthly Coffee Klatch where we all get on the More Cowbell Party Line and doing some brainstorming together.
It was a blast to hear voices for friends that are such an integral part of our virtual lives. I feel incredibly blessed to have such FUN readers on this blog. Thank you!
What about you…are there people or groups that you follow virtually that you would LOVE to meet up with live or via phone? Let’s hear about them! Would you like a contest with a prize of group brainstorming?
REMINDER: Come join the party! Every time you comment, I put your name in the magic contest hat. Tonight, I’ll be picking those little pieces of paper out of the hat to announce the winners of the June webinar TOMORROW. The Let’s Meet Up contest started because I’m a trainer by day and it’s an easy, useful thing for me to give away. I’ll be continuing my giveaways along these lines because it’s soooo entertaining.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the winners AND a summary of the tips we discovered on Friday’s call about why LinkedIn is such a valuable tool for writers.