Stu's post is very informative for why Buffalo and Tampa have been so successful. It's a regular practive for folks in both of those chapter to come here and communicate and check in on what each other are doing. If you scroll down the chapter boards, you'll see that they are the two most active. That's not coincidence. But try as we have, we haven't been able to re-create that phenomena with any method. We've tried requiring people to use them in a variety of ways, but that doesn't work. We've begged and pleaded. Doesn't work. I do think that we may require people performing in a showcase to sign up on the message boards in the future. Because one major benefit is being able to get to know and network with folks you meet at these events. If everyone could come back after a showcase or meeting and talk to any or everyone who was there via the message boards, that's a positive thing. It builds friendship and hopefully would lead to more real "communities" that have developed in Buffalo and Tampa. LA was one of the few chapters that had the friendship and comaraderie of a Tampa chapter without using the boards. But I think a big reason for that is that in the first few years of JPF, I spent more time in LA than anywhere else (including my hometown of Indianapolis) and we did so many events that people actually got to know each other and become friends. I also have more personal friends in Southern California than I have anywhere else (including Indiana). So that might be a reason for the success out there, even though the communication leaves a bit to be desired.. the folks there still know and care about each other.

I see that success and how much that can help folks and I want it to happen for everyone else. I see a little bit of that success creeping in at some other chapters (Seattle seems to have great potential for becoming like a new LA.. there's just an intangible vibe, probably due in large part to Scott Andrew, that seems to be leading in the right direction...) and I know folks like Marty in Western MA not only reaches out to his local folks, but to the surrounding chapters as well.

When you can sit back here and watch all the various chapters in all the various cities and you see the great things and you see the missed opportunities, it's frustrating that we can't figure out how to duplicate the successes and benefits. I know, after 8 years on the road and featuring over 15,000 members live at a showcase, how many amazing and positive things have come from people meeting at those shows and how it has changed peoples lives. That could happen everywhere.. but it takes not only a leader, but some willing followers to get involved and perhaps take a chance of attending some things that might not obviously be a help to them, but which can actually be a big plus in their lives if they are open to it.

Our society in general has shied away from interacting in person. People don't hold dinner parties like they used to. They don't talk to their neighbors. They stay home for entertainment instead of going out. We're trying to buck a major societal trend, but if we can figure out how to do it, everyone will really benefit. You can't create a quicker and closer bond with other humans than to spend time with them directly. Even enemies often find common ground that way. So, let the ideas continue.


Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..." -Brian Austin Whitney

"Sometimes all you have to do to inspire humans to greatness is to give them a reason and opportunity to do something great." -Brian Austin Whitney