Bess Auer 3:36
Yeah – during. It started during all this at the same time. So my husband is a swim coach and I was a swim mom, and I’m one of those [people]. I don’t do well sitting up in the crowd talking with other swim parents because I’m kind of introverted. I would debate this, but I’m good one on one, but not out in the crowd. So I said to my husband, like, “I can’t sit up there. It’s driving me nuts listening to these parents. You know, if I’m gonna be poolside I gotta do something.”
Bess Auer 4:00
So he said, “You’re a blogger, why don’t we” – we called it webcasting at the time – “why don’t you webcast the swim meet?” So we went to Best Buy and got this little eyeball camera – cracks me up because that’s all we could find at the time. We plugged it in the computer and my husband asked the coaches if we could webcast the swim meet. They had no idea what that was. But they’re like, “Yeah, go ahead.”
Bess Auer 4:20
So I sat down by the little speaker [where] the guy that was announcing, put the little web ball cam up on the speaker. Every time he spoke it shook and it was the worst broadcast ever. But people on Deck are like, “Hey, what’s Bess doing?”
Bess Auer 4:37
Joe was like, “Well, she’s webcasting the meet.” And they’re like “Oh, that’s cool!” So he gave them the link. I think it was called Jason TV at the time and he gave them the address and we had 300 LIVE viewers watching regularly, like Little League type swimmers, ages 12 and under in the pool. And that’s when I said, “Oh, there’s a market here.” And so it sprang up from there. And so we started webcasting – live streaming – before it was a thing, amateur sports. And Florida being such a transient state, we had a large group of viewers because you know, people move here from Florida. If you’re actually from Florida. So we had fans all over the world that would tune in to watch their kids swim. And it got bigger and bigger. It’s where we were asked to live stream college swim meets, and then eventually, ESPN actually hired us to broadcast some of their swim meets. So it took on a life of its own. But again, we concentrated on Florida. That was my sweet spot with the community.
That’s amazing. I think it sounds so cool. I mean, people hearing this, it sounds like, you know, you may have come at it with a plan. But the fact that it happened so organically is what I love so much about it.
Bess Auer 5:50
You know, they boasted and what I talk about, you know, in my book, “Unio” is that timing really does play a key factor. And if you’re first to market, which we were in both of those communities, it really gives you a leg up.
Yes. And the book that she’s referencing is “Unio: The Art of Intentional Community Building.” So tell us a little bit about how that played out. Like how it was that you brought all of your thoughts and all this knowledge and expertise about building communities and decided, hey, I’m gonna write a book.