Thank you, Shaan: The medium is the message
Six months ago today, on Aug. 22, 2015, I woke up, for the first time in three months, in my own bed.
I had just completed a 100-day journey around the United States, working with 60 different nonprofits while documenting the experience every way imaginable.
I woke up and, as I often do, I looked at Twitter and noticed that many of my friends were Tweeting about something called Blab.
Blab is a site/app where up to four people can interact through live video, while others can participate in a simultaneous chat session. I had dabbled in it a bit, but I’d focused primarily on Meerkat and Periscope, in addition to the traditional Facebook/Twitter/Instagram triumvirate.
Few would doubt that I had a sensational story to tell. But I thought I was doing everything necessary to tell it — why should I spend time on some shiny new object?
I sent a rather cheeky Tweet to Team Blab and, to my surprise, the app’s co-founder replied — two minutes later.
That reply— and the fact that it came directly from Shaan, 90 seconds after mine (talk about pristine customer service) — opened my eyes. I started to look a bit harder at Blab.
In the six months since, Blab has been, far and away, the single biggest portal for me to meet and interact with new people.
Blab has introduced me to hundreds of people with whom I’ve shared my story, live on camera, and vice versa — and that’s not counting those watching quietly in the comments.
Blab has allowed me to engage, face to face, for free, with influencers that people pay hundreds of dollars for the chance to meet: Jay Baer. Scott Monty. Joel Comm. Mario Armstrong. The list goes on.
Blab has allowed me to conduct (one episode, but who’s counting) a 45-minute show starring a budding starlet featured in AdWeek, where we interviewed a mainstream television star. (The Victoria Fratz Show, Ep. 1)
Blab has allowed me to build hundreds of “online” friendships, which translated to dozens of hugs last month at Summit.Live in San Francisco, with “Blab Friends” like Vicki Fitch, Nick Rishwain, QtheBrand, Victoria Taylor, Sarah Moore, brittany, Sara D Moore, Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz and more. (Make no mistake: those are no longer “Blab friends,” they are real friends.)
I even met Shaan Puri, at his office; amusingly, when I introduced myself, he smiled, laughed and said, “I know who you are.” (Maybe he remembered my Tweet?)
But that’s not ROI, right? OK, let’s cut to it then:
I have sold dozens of books on Blab by telling my story.
Blab allowed me to run a 13-hour, live-streaming marathon, where I crowd-funded $500 to help cover the costs of my trip. (Thank you, everybody!)
And on three separate, unrelated occasions, on non-fundraising Blabs, I have had three separate people deposit $200 into my PayPal account , unprompted— simply because they heard and were impacted by my story.
I am not a nonprofit. My story is nowhere near as compelling as the stories I heard at the dozens of youth nonprofits I visited last summer.
Those stories deserve to be told, and six months ago, I was the skeptic.
Six months ago, I pouted — on Twitter, mind you — and proclaimed the message always trumps the medium.
The medium, folks, is the message. (Thank you, Shaan.)
Simply having a good story is not good enough. You must be ready, willing and able to tell it. The more you tell your story, the more you win. Blab is a great place to begin.
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Chris Strub is the first man to live-stream and SnapChat in all 50 states. (So far, he’s Blabbed from seven: Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Arizona and California.) Below are ten interviews Chris has done — on Blab — since completing his trip. Get Chris’s book here.