HI, I’M tONYA AND IT’S
GREAT TO MEET YOU

Want my resume? You can find that on LinkedIn.

Here’s what LinkedIn can’t tell you:
I believe that with great power comes great responsibility (Thank you, Stan Lee!) and I have made a career out of the responsible use of online space to create community.

 

All the way back to 2005 when a newspaper publisher asked me to check into “this MySpace thing” to see if it could help the business. MySpace as a channel didn’t excite me and the idea of social media at that time made me scoff (My 4-year-old would tell you that’s fancy for “laugh in a teasing way”). Why would anyone spend time “talking” to strangers online when you could just pick up the phone or meet for coffee?

And then I saw the magic in action.
I watched people develop strong, loyal relationships with people they’d never met in real life.

People were vulnerable with each other.
They shared their pain and their joy.

I had seen this type of connection in online forums back when I was in college, but those were private. Nobody used their real names or even shared their locations. And most of them were invite-only communities.

Social media was a different animal.

It was PUBLIC.

And yet what I first saw on MySpace, I later saw on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram.

The busier people get, the higher the number of competing priorities they juggle, the more important online relationships have become.

The human need for connection NEVER goes away. We are created to connect.
We are created for relationships.

As we get busier, we can’t afford to stack more on top of more. We need our relationships to fit into our busy lives and that’s why online relationships are so valuable. Social media never sleeps – so whether we can’t sleep at 1 a.m. or get up at 4 a.m. to exercise, we can connect with others just like us.

When I saw this in action back in 2005, I didn’t understand it but I was curious. Since then, I’ve made it my life’s work to figure out online relationships and I’ve become a passionate evangelist for online communities.

I’ve learned both the art and the science behind building strong online relationships, and I’ve applied this knowledge and experience on behalf of organizations of all sizes. But what gives me the greatest joy is working with communicators – people who actually care about the people they serve, people who want to be on a first-name basis with members of their communities. If you want a nameless, faceless tribe that buys your stuff but leaves you alone, I am not for you.

 

But if you are here because you want to develop strong, direct relationships with your audiences – if you truly want to connect – then please, stick around.

You are my people.

And I would LOVE to help you connect with your people.

Tonya

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