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Brian Vickery

The Spin Sucks Community: A Modern Day Salt Covenant

By: Brian Vickery | August 29, 2013 | 
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Spin Sucks Community

By Brian Vickery

I was recently blessed to walk my eldest daughter down the aisle at her wedding ceremony.

Besides providing my first opportunity to make a wedding toast as Daddy, this wedding introduced me to the Salt Covenant Ceremony.

Of course, I immediately thought of the Spin Sucks community. OK, maybe I didn’t think about this occasionally rowdy, always outspoken bunch of authors and commenters until a few days after the wedding…but you were “right there,” honest!

But I digress. In Biblical times, people carried pouches of salt.

If they wanted to enter into a contract, they would exchange salt from their pouches and then give the pouches a good shake. The contract could only be broken if each party was willing to open their pouch and separate every grain of salt that wasn’t theirs.

Ever tried to get sand out of your shoe or a beach towel? It’s practically impossible; so imagine how difficult it would be to separate GRAINS of sand by color!

The Salt Covenant

The salt covenant symbolizes entering into a contract that will never be broken.

The longevity and vitality of the Spin Sucks community came to mind as I watched this ceremony. Authors relish opportunities to guest post on Spin Sucks because they know they will get a high level of engagement in the comments. The commenters may not always agree with the blogger’s points, but the tone is always respectful – unless the relationship between author and commenter is strong enough to support “snarkish” camaraderie while disagreeing.

And trust me, relationships have flourished in this community. Go back and scan prior Spin Sucks blog posts, and then read the comments. You will see the “usual suspects” carrying threaded banter and inside jokes across multiple comment threads.

This is the spirit of community, folks. We follow the principles of “iron sharpening iron” that Solomon alluded to when he stated: “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

We exchange our grains of sand with each interaction, and our ideas and convictions are forever colored by the thoughtful contributions from other Spin Sucks community members.

I’ll exchange salt with you any time…and give it a good shake as well!

Photo Credit: Alexis and Josh Wedding via JECO Photo.

About Brian Vickery


Brian Vickery loves his Vickery girls and sports (yes, in that order). He is also grateful for his job as a principal and executive vice president of the Rocky Mountain Region for Mantis Technology Group. When he is not promoting Pulse Analytics social media monitoring and sentiment analysis, and the awesome Mantis business intelligence and software development services, he’s probably watching a football or basketball game…or trying to find a good tennis match.

54 comments
photo chris
photo chris

What a GREAT idea- I LOVE this! LOVE it. And being in the wedding industry, I haven't seen it yet...surprising! I hope it trends soon in Chicago!

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

Hey, this is great Brian. I like how you explain the connections between passionate (yes, even Crazy) members of this community.

I also appreciate how Gini and her team welcome people like myself and Clay that aren't even in marketing/PR. I love being here because the core community values are solid. So far I've met a couple SS'ers IRL and looking forward to even more. 

Did you catch that Jay Baer Youtility webinar yesterday? Can't remember if I saw you on, it's a good one if you didn't. Some stuff that's relevant to how the community is built here. 

creativeoncall
creativeoncall

Great post Brian. For all the yammering online about building trust and community and yada yada, there's little commentary on the kind of investment and commitment the salt ceremony speaks to. All in.  Inseparable.  And liking it that way.  No online community may rise to the level of a good marriage, but recognizing the traits and aiming for them serves us all well. Thanks.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Does your daughter read this? She now knows instead of thinking about how happy you are for her. Or freaking about the big check you have to cut for the caterer and the 20 shaman break dancers who did the ceremony. Or even noticing the busboy hitting on your younger daughter and how you will shake him down if he feeds her another piece of cake when no one is looking.

Nope you thought of @SpinSucks  

I have seen the community grow and some of the people change. Some folks came here and then got all big and famous and stopped coming around. Some people wound up in rehab for IPad addiction. Others moved to Cleveland, Been some ride for @ginidietrich and I don't just mean her epic bike thrills and spills.

Latest blog post: The Paul Newman Margarita

martinwaxman
martinwaxman

Thanks for the story and insights, @dbvickery. Like @HeatherTweedy I didn't know about the tradition. Your analogy to the Spin Sucks community - and to community in general - is an apt one because it highlights both the exchange of ideas, long-term commitment and personal connection that needs to be in place for a real community to exist and thrive. 

On a semi-related note, I don't know if you're familiar with Sumo wrestling - but the wrestlers toss handfuls of salt in the air before a match - I wonder if there's a link between the two. If anyone can chime in, that would be great. 

HeatherTweedy
HeatherTweedy

Genius way to get comments!  (jk) 

I had never heard of that practice and it made for a lovely analogy.  Though, nowadays the courts would be hammed with cases where one party alleged the other still had a few grains remaining.  :) 

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

Great post Brian!! Love your thoughts on the Spin Sucks community. It's great and I've seen them in action many times. It's really fun to watch the banter too. 

Um, and I would NEVER want to try and separate grains of sand by color...nope, never. Not even an option :)

dbvickery
dbvickery

@JoeCardillo I missed the webinar because I was on a G+ Hangout. Based upon what I've heard about Youtility (I've been meaning to download it, but I'm reading Exodus and Ctrl-Alt-Del right now), I bet he did touch on the power of community. Because it still comes down to giving away your knowledge, commentary, and support to others - then hope it comes back to bless you in the long run.

Yeah, I joined in a bunch of these communities because we got in the social media monitoring space. I wanted to "observe the Marketing/PR folks in their natural habitat". I developed some great friendships, and met several in IRL, and I've learned enough about marketing that it's aided my efforts getting the word out about our own company.

Wins all around...


dbvickery
dbvickery

@creativeoncall Great comment, Chuck. Investment and Commitment. Definitely weighs more in a marriage, but goes a long way to having a balanced community, too.

SpinSucks is my most regular "blog stop" of the week, and I definitely take time to scan the comments to see what side discussions and jokes are brewing.

dbvickery
dbvickery

@Howie Goldfarb Wow, moved to Cleveland...yikes. Hey, when they were pouring that salt, I'm like...hey, I still have to smoke that salmon.

And yeah, writing checks for a wedding, and two kids' fall semesters in college...weep for me. Or send checks to a PO Box I can arrange! ;)

photo chris
photo chris

@dbvickery @photo chris I'm an idiot- what I should have started with was CONGRATULATIONS!  It's such an exciting time!!

I would love to talk to her about this more and see if I can get this idea onto our blog- do you think she would chat with me? cmader@twaphoto.com 

creativeoncall
creativeoncall

@dbvickery same here.. and as to Biblical perspectives on marriage, here's the one I always share with my wife:  "Only one of us gets out of this alive" (Back to that thing about going all in.. being inseparable.. and liking it that way). 

howiegoldfarb
howiegoldfarb

@dbvickery the fraternity system had too many Denver influencers so coors light was everywhere. I havent tried Shiner.

dbvickery
dbvickery

@ginidietrich Well, I did spend my high school years partaking of garbage can punch and MD 20/20. OK, no...wine through Camelback not cool

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