I had the pleasure of being the guest on a (the?) twitter #SmallBizChat last night. The brain child of up and coming small biz powerhouse Melinda Emerson (a.k.a. @smallbizlady), #SmallBizChat happens every Wednesday night from 8-9PM EST. Melinda, along with her co-host Cathy Larkin (@CathyWebSavvyPR) run a great event that is worth checking into as a listener/participant but also as a guest. The whole evening is topped off with a PDF transcript of the event made available within in minutes courtesy of Sonia Schenker (@yourjobmyoffice).
Last night’s topic was, obviously, greening your small business. I had prepared a dozen questions and answers and was expecting to field additional questions. But what happened, and here’s the beauty of Twitter and why this kind of event is Twitter at its best, is that a real dialogue occurred. I didn’t have much chance to interject, mostly because several people had perfectly good answers that came from their day to day operations. For example, when question #2 was posted:
I, as planned, posted my 140 character response:
Its a perfectly fine answer, but the chat took off and many other terrific “definitions” kept popping up.@deannatroupe kept the good practical greening practices coming (eco-friendly products, recycle more, use less paper, using vanpooling for events, etc…). @StrandedWind wanted to talk about peak oil. And when we got to question 6:
Everyone on the chat had great suggestions. Clearly, suggestions that they were actually doing. It was inspiring to see so many doing so much. So, there’s a support group aspect to #Smallbizchat. But, there’s more. Several participants asked great questions, like @WayneLiew:
This started a discussion about green fatigue. And then there was the contagious unbridled enthusiasm of @JDEbberly:
That was in response to a discussion of gender procilivities for greening. A whole new tanget erupted.
I learned a lot last night. As a small business owner, #smallbizchat is a great way to connect and learn. As someone who promotes a small business, or in my case a book, its a great venue for sharing expertise and getting feedback on your products and services. Melinda and Kathy understand where the value comes from and they have developed a loyal following. As such, a constant feature of #smallbizchat is “Roll Call” when participants are invited to give their best 140 character pitch to the crowd.
And, if you have some expertise—if your an ecopreneur then likely you do—Melinda wants you to share and be a guest on #smallbizchat. I’d take her up on it. It was a win-win for everyone involved.