As 2019 draws to an end and I sipped my morning coffee this day after Christmas, I checked in with my tribes.
First, it was with the Fellow Travelers of our Facebook Group and our Facebook Page (yes, they are two separate social media entities). Then I went over to the Community tab of our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. Quick checks of Instagram and then Twitter and finally LinkedIn caught me up to date on how my fellow RV Lifestyle friends and followers spent Christmas, where they're planning to go in 2020, what the weather is like wherever they happen to be and what problems they may be having with their rigs.
There were photos, season's greetings, friendly suggestions, newsy updates on theiV latest Rv experiences and questions seeking expertise from the group.
Reading some of those posts, scanning others and even adding a few comments or responses gave me a real sense of community, of belonging, of being part of something much bigger than just Jen and I having fun in our RV.
also Most of the people who follow us or belong to these social media groups, pages and accounts, are strangers. Many are familiar to us, though we've never met in person. Some, we have met in our travels and some have truly become close friends, people we see several times a year as we crisscross North America.
But together, we form a tribe and we all – as different as we may be ethnically, politically, religiously and just about every other ly identification you can think of – are bound together by a shared interest – in RVing and camping. Sure, with almost 26,000 in our group and over 416,000 who follow our Facebook Page, we have interlopers who sneak in and try to exploit the audience for their own purposes. Because of the size of our audience we have daily incursions by scammers, hackers, poachers and the dregs of the social media world. We get our share of the bitter and angry and crude and emotionally disturbed trolls that come with the territory, too. But our moderators and other members quickly spot them and the tribe stays together.
There is power in the tribe.
We keep each other motivated, enthusiastic about RVing, informed, connected and respected.
As Jen and I plan for 2020, our bucket list has been shaped by many of the shared travels we've seen from our Fellow Travelers.
In two weeks, we'll head to the snowy woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and gather for our annual Winter Campout at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. We even have a tribe for that gathering (see https://www.facebook.com/groups/1697339513886451/).
The week after, we'll meet up with other Fellow Travelers from our tribe at the Tampa RV Supershow in Florida where we'll be doing daily meetups and even a special party (here's the invite https://www.facebook.com/events/582797345848272/)
We'll meet others at at RV Entrepreneurs Summit in Arkansas in March, at the Super B RV show in Phoenix in April, in August at Lakeside Chautauqua in Ohio, in California in September and lots of other places in between as we chase RV Lifestyle stories across North America. We often will arrive in a place, then go to the tribe on social media, and schedule an impromptu meetup for the next day or so. People always show up. We've done that in Nashville, Florida, Texas and other places this past year and we plan to do the same in 2020.
They're all like a family reunion.
But even if we don't meet face to face this year, we can still stay connected via social media. So check in with the tribe.
2020 is going to be awesome.