Social Media Events: Off-line With Bernie Mitchell

I am sitting in Moo Grill, an Argentinean cafe that is worth mentioning in the City of London with social maestro Bernie Mitchell, the man behind TAGtribe, an on-line community of people, which also hosts social media events. Occasionally, I meet interesting people; Bernie is one of them. He is unassuming, an intuitive thinker, a man careful with his words who immediately understands people. Straightaway, he tells me that he dislikes the words - social media, guru and networker, that education is his driving force. He gets people to have conversations and believes that people need to take their conversations off-line to be meaningful and for communities to grow.  Bernie doesn’t own a TV, never reads a newspaper and instead get his information and shapes his knowledge from blogs and audio books; he quotes a lot from author Seth Godin.

TAGtribe is an on line community of people who genuinely connect, who meet off-line at either of its two social media events (The Late, Late Breakfast Show and SME 2.0) to carry on conversations, share knowledge, business and hang out. They contribute to a ‘living blog’ that informs them of what is happening in each other’s lives, which creates the deeper connection. TAGtribe is about keeping things intimate and personal. It will only grow with people that want to be part of the conversation and not just make “noise”. Bernie says, “TAGtribe on Twitter is about keeping it personal because you know more about people in your twitter stream than your own family.” He wants to TAGtribe to have a membership of 250. So, of course I asked, what happens when person ‘251’ wants to join. That for Bernie is the dilemma and says, “I don’t want to be exclusive or cliquey...but think 250 is a number that is productive for people to connect with intelligently”. To be part of the tribe or to attend one of its social media events, you need to be invited.

I went along to The Late, Late Breakfast show last Tuesday, 19 October. It was my perfect social media event as breakfast starts at 6.30pm!, I was surprised at the intimacy, the laid back feeling and that people were connecting and sharing; carrying on conversations that they were having on-line. These were people who were part of a social media community (sorry Bernie, I just had to use that word).

Bernie Mitchell has his fingers in a few pies. Next week he is speaking in Brussels at the Direct Marketing Conference on behalf of his client about serendipity (my favourite word) and how Bernie believes it creates better customer engagement for companies on-line. Serendipity is not about going from ‘A to B’; it’s about going from ‘P to P’, allowing customer loyalty to grow and flourish, because it relates to people and their experiences. The other social media event on Mr Mitchell’s calendar is the one he’s hosting through his other venture, ‘Techmap’. It’s a Not for Profit Conference, called Technology for Good on 15 November.

Photo Credit: TAGtribe Website