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Hotel Metrics: Taking Soup Metrics On The Road

Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California

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In social media, we measure, quantify and analyze even seemingly intangible concepts like trust, authenticity, even friendship.  When Tara Hunt (aka @missrogue) wrote Soup Metrics, she defined the soup metric as “the number of people in your social network that you know would bring you soup if they knew you were sick and/or get your back in any other real friend way – to help you feel better OR help your career.”

Soup metrics gauge relationships well if you are in your hometown, but for those of us who have scraped together resources to attend conferences all over the country I have seen another metric emerge: the hotel room metric. I know it sounds far less wholesome than chicken soup, but the definitition is 100% innocent. The hotel metric is defined as the number of people at a conference who will offer up an extra bed or a place to crash without expecting anything unsavory in return.   

I have shared rooms, taxis, meals and even toiletries at multiple conferences to save money, and I am not alone. The social media community that gathers at conferences is not as uniform as one would think.  Many conference attendees have free tickets to conferences but can’t pony up airfare, hotel expenses, etc… Let’s face it the economy is rocky, and it’s impossible to know who is in need unless we make our needs known. 

It was not until the 140 Conference in LA last week that I noticed the hotel room metric poppling up over and over. Fortunately I was offered a place to stay in LA, which was a pleasant surprise, until the offer was rescinded.  I spent a hectic morning dragging my luggage down Hollywood Boulevard and did my best to ignore the feeling of being homelesss in a strange city to stay.  I shared my problem with friends, and I was overwhelmed by those who offered up solutions, some of whom I had literally met that day. Ultimately, the lovely Sarah Kennon put my name on her room registry and left a key for me at the front desk. A hotel room has never felt so inviting as the Hotel Roosevelt that evening.

Later the same day, Zane Aveton, a dear Twitter friend I met in person for the first time at the conference, sent me a text message. She needed a place to stay. I reached out to Rich Greenberg, who had an extra bed in his hotel room.  He was pleased to donate the spare to Zane, although they had never heard of each other.

Let me be clear – I don’t encourage anyone to show up in a random city for a social media conference expecting free digs or a hotel room.  If, however, you do find yourself stranded at a social media event, reach out to the people in your network.  My guess is each of us have friends who are willing and able to help. You never know when the person in need will be you.

Liza Sperling
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