An Outsider’s View:

The ACO Conference 2011, Social Networking Style

by Sandy Aletto

I looked through the other side of a computer screen, peeking as it were into a window of the ACO Conference taking place in Chicago, “Coaches Called to Courage,” where an array of coaches from all over the globe met, discussed, shared and taught new ideas, coaching methods and styles on the subject of ADD/ADHD and Coaching. This unique perspective of the conference was obtained using the internet as my only link to social networking. How cool, different, a bit odd, fast-paced like talking and I did it in my sweats. With the internet providing connections to cell phones, twitter, facebook and e-mail, I found the hook-up that worked the best, provided the majority of the information, and was used the most, so I found myself on Twitter, the entire time.

Important Side Note:

I have taken the liberty to change the name of those Tweeting, and some other information for the soul purpose of entertainment, while keeping my grounds for the article authentic.

It’s Friday, the first day of the conference. By evening, everyone will be arriving at the hotel in a flurry, meeting up with old friends, making new acquaintances and seeing some people whom they only knew  over the phone. It’s always fun matching names with faces, sharing stories especially in a great city like Chicago!

I am all set. Okay, let’s hop onto Twitter and get the latest buzz. (Is that a mixed metaphor?)

  • There were some really cool sessions offered and I was especially keen on hearing from the coaches working with ADD/ADHD in Peru.

Postings: Friday, April 29

ACO Registration is open and Pre Conferences have begun.

ADHDCoachSandy [Sandy Alletto Corbin]: @ADHDcoaches Okay, Hello? I am here! Anyone want to fill me in?

ASIDE: I guess I am a bit early. They are in Chicago and I’m in L.A.

This will be my first time following anything on Twitter.

Writing anything on Twitter, or “following” someone, for me, is like tying to jump onto a moving train. I get half way on, then am left struggling while my one foot never quit makes it inside the car, and is left dragging in the dirt all the way to my destination.

Yet, I will admit, that for something like this, a conference, where people are checking in with comments, it just might be the platform to use to get some instant and constant feedback.

Posting: TWITTER on Friday, April 29

ADHDCoachSandy  [Sandy Alletto Corbin]
Hello everyone! Anyone on board yet? I am sure everyone is busy catching up, matching faces with names or voices. Anyone online?
CoachForADHD [Laura Rolands]:  @adhdcoachsandy Hi Sandy! I’m presenting. I actually just arrived in Chicago. Updates soon!

Random person:  #aco2011 @- have fun in Chicago

Thought 1: Random person. Cool.

CoachForADHD: Attending a great break out session with Dan Pruitt and Chuck Blocher at the ADHD Coaches Conference in Chicago.

Thought 2:  Cool.

CoachForADHD: Great to see everyone tonight at #ACO2011! @ Who else is here?!

The Research:

First, the purpose of following on Twitter seems to be to reach a new and larger audience for the sake of business gains.

The Research: Jay Baer and Chris Baggott wrote ‘Three Social Media Strategies to Consider,’ written about the purpose of social networking as a method “to engage people who have an awareness that an organization exits and to create a deeper connection and relationship…” with that organization.

They add, “what is needed is to…connect with people,… have good content, which is ‘people friendly’ in that it ‘solves your reader’s problems.'”

Insight: By following the conference online as a newbie might, I will be able to reveal to the coaches, presenters and the ACO what it was like viewing the conference from this point of view and what is coming out of the ACO conference and hopefully get a feel of the ACO and some of the coaches involved.

FaceBook Posts:Friday, April 29

Sarah Wright:  Lovely tribute to Ken Zaretzky tonight. His daughters came. His wife gave a eulogy to a standing ovation. He would have loved it. #aco2011

Sarah Wright: The inaugural “Glen Hogard Award for Service to the Profession” was awarded to Glen Hogard tonight. Another Ken Zaretzky legacy. #aco2011

E-mail Check!

Hi Sandy

Day one was terrific There was a last-minute scramble because Suzanne Evans was unable to come because of weather related issues and her plane flight was canceled twice. But Steve Axtel stepped in and did a session that was quite wonderful on hypnotherapy and ADHD.

That evening there was a lovely networking hour followed by a reception. An award was given for contribution to the profession and some of the grandfathers and grandmothers of the ADHD coaching world were acknowledged… David Giwerc and Jody Sleeper-Triplett particularly for their contribution to creating training programs. Ken Zaretzky was acknowledged posthumously and his wife gave quite a moving speech about how important the ACO was to Ken and encouraged us all to keep moving forward in our work.

As a first timer, it was quite a moving experience and I realized two things; A) how we really are all at the forefront of this amazing profession of ADHD coaching and B) what amazing closeness there is in this community. A day before, I didn’t know half of these people and now I feel like I have brothers and sisters all doing the same kind of work that is so important and has the potential to change so many lives.

Thought 5: Wow. Way Cool. Thanks Robert!

End of the first night.

April 30th Saturday. (First full day of sessions)

Trivia: Did you know 67% of women go online at least once a day to check either their e-mail or facebook page?

Thought 6: Everyone is going to be running from session to session and bumping into each other throughout the day.

ADHDcoaches [ACO]: Gregg Krech is about to give the key note speech on “Attention” from a Naikan perspective.

CoachForADHD [Laura Rolands]: RT @bgjj1111: #Twitter is a #goldmine of #ADD support #Happy to be here now! @CoachForADHD @momswithadd @TerryMatlen @thinkythink

DrLynneKenney [Lynne Kenney]: RT @CoachForADHD: So pleased to know u all! @davidnowell: Good to meet @CoachForADHD @JSTtraining @DrLynneKenney last night #ACO2011

CoachForADHD: great to meet you too David! RT @davidnowell: Good to meet @CoachForADHD and @JSTtraining and @DrLynneKenney last night #ACO2011

Thought 6: Went to “Slideshare.”and watched David Nowell’s slide presentation.Um, no sound? Darn. Very Generous though! Nice colors!

ADHDCoachSandy: @davidnowell WHAT an AMAZING SLIDE PRESENTATION! Thank you, David.

CoachForADHD: Morita described Anxiety as Misdirected Attention. #adhd via Gregg Krech #aco2011

Thought 7: Misdirecting= anxiety…what?

ADHDcoaches ACO  [note to kerch: these are tweets by ACO]: # adhd # ACO 2011 The real foundation of life is built upon our relationships. David Giwerc

CoachForADHD: Tips: let your self-observer be objective, pause to observe, we are part of a puzzle & are connected to others (David Giwerc) #adhd #aco2011

Thought 8: Objective = cool…Cool!

ADHDcoaches: # ACO 2011 # ADHD # Nourishing the soul with knowing, vulnerability and creating bridges of connection to spiritual work David Giwerc

DrLynneKenney: BrainTrain Tip #6 Matthew Lieberman, a neuroscientist has found an inverse relationship between the amygdala and…

ADHDcoaches: # ADHD # AC0 2011 A wonderfully warm session with Andrew Lewis on a non medical approach to understanding ADHD

CoachForADHD: RT @rtudisco: Fantastic lecture on supporting disorganized students and adults by David Nowell – #aco2011 #adhd

CoachForADHD: Learning “A New Positive Working Model of #ADHD” from Andrew Lewis of #aco2011

CoachForADHD: Getting ready for “MEDS: Is not A Four Letter Word” presented by Laurie Dupar, an RN as well as an #ADHD coach #aco2011

Random person: #aco2011 @- have fun in Chicago

ADHDcoaches: ACO is extremely pleased to announce our latest membership benefit…Access to the Journal of Attention Disorders! Free to our members.

CoachForADHD: Presentation Tip: is there an “elephant in the room”? Bring a bag of peanuts to feed the elephant! #ACO2011

CoachForADHD: Stimulants for #ADHD treatment stimulate Dopamine in the brain (which is essential to proper function of brain’s frontal lobe) #aco2011

CoachForADHD: Norepinephrine is essential in attention, energy and incentive (pre curser to dopamine) via Laurie Dupar #ADHD #aco2011

CoachForADHD: Dopamine =essential to proper function of brain’s frontal lobe, serotonin = essential to state of well-being via Laurie Dupar #ADHD #aco2011

Thought 9: I’m thinking it’s getting to be dinner time?

ADHDCoachSandy: @CoachForADHD is it time for a dinner break …yet? Hello?

livingwithadd [Tara McGillicuddy]: Having a great talk with @coachforadhd at #aco2011

Thought 10: Got to get used to this Twittering!

SarahDWright: #aco2011 Looking forward to Beatriz Duda’s and Maya Echegaray’s presentation on what they are doing in Peru to help people w/ADHD!

CoachForADHD: Hi Sandy – I was off Twitter for a while. dinner done – bedtime!

RTudisco [Robert Tudisco]: Listened to a moving presentation from Peruvian coaches about the work they do against the odds in their country #aco2011

ADHDCoachSandy: @CoachForADHD would love to have heard more about this?..

RTudisco: So many perspectives on ADHD coaching from all over the world, UK, Peru, Australia and more #aco2011

Thought 11: ZZZZzzzzZzz

Sunday. May 1. Last Day, time to pack up

RTudisco: Had a wonderful time at dinner with a group of Edge Coaches last night #aco2011

livingwithadd: Looking forward hearing @DrLynneKenney #aco2011

Random person: #aco2011 @- have fun in Chicago!

RTudisco: Thank you Laura Rolands for demystifying twitter. #aco2011 #ADHD.

CoachForADHD: RT @RTudisco: Listened to a moving presentation from Peruvian coaches about the work they do against the odds in their country #aco2011

livingwithadd: The Thinker and The Caveman from @DrLynneKenney #aco2011 #ADHD #parenting

CoachForADHD: Listening to @OrderAndBalance discuss Productivity for Profitability for #ADHD coaches. Great information! #aco2011

ADHDCoachSandy: @livingwithadd @DrLynneKenney thoughts…?

Thought 11: or not?

livingwithadd: @DrLynneKenney highly recommends the Wii Fit #ADHD #aco2011 #exercise

ADHDCoachSandy: @ADHDAWARE @tweetmeme Cool!

CoachForADHD: @ADHDCoachSandy It was amazing!

JulesRowlands [Julie Rowlands]: Being accountable for your problems also means understanding that their solutions lie within you too.

ADHDcoaches: # ADHD # ACO 2011. Viv Monahan steps down off the Board leaving us with a fabulous Conference as her legacy. Thanks Viv

SarahDWright: #aco2011 Delightful presentation by Ava Green on the story behind “ADD and Loving It?!” from Thanks, Ava! #ADHD

The Long Good-bye

CoachForADHD: @DrLynneKenney I have received great feedback about your presentation Lynne! Thanks for coming to the @adhdcoaches conference #adhd #aco2011

CoachForADHD: Listening to Ian King present “Is your Cleaning Staff Running your Business”? great strategic insight. #aco2011

DrLynneKenney: @livingwithadd I valued our time thank u!

JSTtraining [Jodi Sleeper-Triplett]: @ADHDcoaches I echo that. Thanks, Viv!

TotallyADD [Totally ADD]: RT @wolfshades: Reason #1 why I love twitter: tweets R short, which accommodates my #ADHD. The next tweet distracts. #serioustweet #ADHD

livingwithadd: @DrLynneKenney It was great meeting and spending time with you too!

TotallyADD: RT @jaycarter: @TotallyADD Ava rocked the house at the #ACO2011 ADHD Coaches conference today! Thx! I’ll pass it on!

SarahDWright: #aco2011 #adhd Multiple conference attendees said, “Best conference I’ve ever been to!” Thanks Viv, Kay, Susan, and all.

One last e-mail I think, says it all.

Hi Sandy,

The conference progressed amazingly well. The remaining highlights were worth the price of admission. The ‘ADD and Loving It’ presentation was amazing, Barbara Luther was amazing, the energy medicine session was amazing– there’s almost too much to describe. I’m a little overwhelmed.

About to catch a plane.

All the best

In Summary

Having read ‘Crazy Busy,’ I can say I am not taking the fact that I was barely paid attention to personally. The internet is a wonderful tool. It can convey a lot of information. However, in the process of all that electricity, all that one can hope to gain is information. So for that reason, Twitter, though great for the on-go-response does not allow enough space to write complete thoughts. For me, that was confusing.

I also find the term “Social Networking” to be an oxymoron. Communicating over the network, the internet is NOT social. I missed the hugs, the smiles, the human interaction. It is far easier to gain someone’s attention when you are standing up close to them, than while waiting for them to pick up their cell and hope they read your response. Most times, the person is busy with their own reason for Tweeting or Posting and answering a response or e-mail is of secondary importance.

Playing Jane Public, with an unfair advantage as I know many of the coaches, have attended conferences and know the subject matter, I still felt left completely out of the loop, to the point of even being a rude interruption. I knew everyone was there to get something, and by asking, I felt like an intruder. On the other hand, when information was posted, it was not complete. It left me wondering or waiting for an explanation, or for the poster to finish their reply which almost never came. So if I was missing out on information or feeling put off, was this a good business tool to use to share conference information, or did it really work to show the worse side of what a conference to a newcomer can really be like?

As the writer of this article taking this point of view I was asked to summarize by commenting on the following:

Q: If you felt left out, surely others did as well. Would you be drawn to follow the social network next year as a result of this year? What can we do next year to get more participation? Can you think of a strategy or suggestions?

A. One strategy I could offer is that a script of some sort be assembled ahead of time, or a format so that information is given out over the internet somewhat Organized.

Though it is fun to catch the play by play from the people involved, it is also very frustrating to be fed bits and pieces of information and be left hanging.

Also, I can understand how presenters don’t want to just give their products away for free, but it has to be decided ahead of time, what will be shared and how. If presenters don’t want to share information freely, then the information they are willing to share needs to be complete and accessible.

If someone is taking the time to tune in, then that person’s time needs to be respected and something given in return or why bother?

Finally, the site followed needs to be well thought out. Facebook, and Twitter each have their values.

The one that best suits the type of the information shared needs to be chosen for that purpose and then on the ACO site, this needs to be clearly recommended and explained.

I chose Twitter for the reasons I listed at the beginning of this article. However, I see that once the conference ended, Facebook became a more viable network to check in with to view pics and full comments.

My Conclusion on the Value of Social Networking at a Conference

Though I love playing on the internet and using it in a countless number of ways, nothing beats being at a conference in person as many coaches and attendees commented on on Sunday, by Congratulating Viv and Susan for an unbelievable job!

So there you have it! The ACO conference on Twitter!!!!

You got what I got!