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    2013: THE YEAR THE NETWORK PAYS OFF... FOR THE NETWORK!1 year ago

    I'm writing this on Christmas night, December 25th, 2012. Four years ago, tomorrow, December 26th, 2008, I did something awesome for the first time. 2008 was the year that HARO started coming into its own. I was still writing the HARO emails, three times a day from my apartment, by myself, and the HARO had to go out on 12/26, normally a day off for the majority of the world.

    I came up with an idea to hold a trivia contest on Twitter for those who also had to work on 12/26, and within 24 hours of my posting the idea, it blew up, and we had companies and brands from around the world emailing me to offer their products as prizes. The end result was an amazing full day of Twitter trivia, giving away tons and tons of prizes to a lot of people!

    We did it again a few times in 2009, as well as 2010 and 2011. All good times. Exhausting as hell, but tons of fun, and in total, hundreds of people wound up with prizes from Olive Oil to all-expense-paid ski weekends in Park City.

    This year, earlier this month, in fact, I did something different - Instead of a contest, I used my network to send four worthy people home for the holidays for free. Yet again, as soon as I announced that I was doing it, I was contacted by at least a dozen people asking to help, as well, all out of the goodness of their hearts. With hardly any time to put it together, I didn't get to use all the help that was offered, but that it was offered in the first place was awesome in itself.

    I want to do more of that. I asked myself today, what's the point of having a huge network if you can't use it for good on a regular basis? Think about it - If it's trivia-type contests, everyone wins - The people who get the right answers get prizes, and the donors of said prizes get their brand and products in front of a few hundred thousand active, engaged people, the majority of whom are tastemakers in their own networks. If it's to help people, like the miles giveaway was, then it's awesome Karma, and a chance for some companies to step up and help as well, if planned far enough in advance.

    So I'm going to focus on doing more of this in 2013. More contests, more giveaways, more ways to make people happy. And just like when I started HARO, I'm not doing it to make money. I'm doing it because it's a good, helpful thing to do. In my opinion, that's why anyone should start anything.

    So stay tuned. Hopefully, I'll have some good stuff to offer up to you over the course of 2013. And I promise to do it without ever becoming annoying or overbearing.

    BTW: Are you a company? Want to get your stuff in front of what I believe to be the best, coolest, and most savvy and connected audience on the web today? (And no, like I said above, I'm not charging you to do so...) Click on the contact tab above and shoot me an email.

    Four years ago today, we gave away a ton of prizes, took Twitter down four times, and were the #1, 2, and 3 trending topics for the day. I say, let's do it again. And again, and again. :)

    Happy holidays, my friends, and, as always, once again, thank you for being here.

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