Stories Are The Best Way To Keep The Door Open

The world is built on stories. People enjoy telling and hearing stories. Stories are the lifeblood of what I do as the API Evangelist and are the number one way I stay in touch with people across many different industries and around the globe. As a single person shop there is only so many calls I can conduct in any single day, and there are only so many folks I can ping on a regular basis to stay in touch--I rely on the power of stories to do the hard work for me, acting as the distributed glue in my world.

When I connect with someone new via Twitter, email, or in person, I always close up the conversation with, "if you ever have any good stories for me to tell, either anonymously, or directly, make sure and reach out". I do need the stories, but my primary objective in doing this is to keep the communication channels open and encourage folks to do the heavy lifting when it comes to remembering to reaching out to me and renew the connection between us. The urge to share (and be heard) or hear a good story is always much stronger than the desire to buy or sell a product (aka sales lead), making this approach produce the return on investment (ROI) I am looking for.

I see my approach in contrast to the urge to tip of major tech blogs about a product release or investment because it often isn't about the tech--it almost always is about the humans. Companies want to talk to Techcrunch when a product, feature, investment, or press releases, and people contact me when something good or bad has happened involving the humans. Sure, I still get the regular release engagement, but it is the stories that truly matter to me, and to my readers. Storytelling is the way I reach a large audience on a regular basis, and the way that a global group of people stay engagement with me, even when the migrate companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies--stories are everything, and always the best way to keep the door open.