J. Kelly Hoey

The Marrying The Community Edition

Online, Offline and Offsite. That sums up my weekend on eastern end of Long Island. “Can You Hear Me Now” only had relevance for in-person conversations as the mobile reception was poor and the wifi connection weak. The IRL human connections on the other hand, were something else. Oh, how easily we can be present or in the moment when we accept that the act of trying to get online sucks.

Does Your Wedding Need A #HashTag?

The reason for a weekend that was primarily offline was the destination wedding on the North Fork of Long Island of two very online people at the cutting edge of technology and the social inter-connected web. A joyous gathering bringing together a diverse community, reflecting the generosity and vast professional (as well as personal) interests of the couple. Young and old. Family and friends. It was a weekend that was planned, well-orchestrated and spontaneous all at the same time. It was catered and DIY. It was forward-looking sprinkled healthily with nostalgia.

It was community coalescing in the social networking era in its finest form.

It was a wedding with a #hashtag and a badminton tournament, movie night and pancake breakfast. There was the prerequisite wedding website as well as elaborate old-school printed invitations (with instructions on where to go, what to wear and which team you were on for the sporting competitions). It was a wedding which corralled the guests aka its community into engaging online then offline — and now, as wedding pictures spring up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to renewed connections online.

What are my community-building takeaways?

  • If you’re using a #hashtag make sure it has strong emotional connection to your brand or is pure delight.
  • Set high expectations then deliver — but hold just a little back to keep people guessing at whether there is more to come.
  • Put your community to work from the start. A passive community means passive engagement. An enthused community rallies and steps up.

My 4 other random reflections from the weekend:

  1. Frosted pop-tarts every once and a while are a good thing.
  2. Mega Tiny Corporation’s Anti-Gravity mobile phone case is a very good (fun) thing — plus as an added-bonus, it is a really good conversation starter.

3. Knowing how to play games which neither require batteries nor electricity is an essential life skill.

4. If you can’t be there in person, send Tattly tattoos as your stand-in.

This post originally appeared in Innovator Insights, Kelly Hoey’s weekly newsletter. To get insights in your inbox, sign up here.


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