So yesterday I mentioned today would be a very special Traffic Exchange Live update. Wanna know why?

Because one year ago this week, Traffic Exchange Live got its start back in our old room on UStream when TE Toolbox was having its live relaunch party! (Or maybe it was a year ago last week, but in any case, it’s been a year now.)

Yep, that’s right. Can you believe we’ve been at this craziness nearly every single weekday for a whole year now? Amazing, huh?!!

TE Live was never a planned venture. It just kind of evolved from the TE Toolbox relaunch when everyone was hanging out in the UStream room every day that week, and then nobody ever left and everyone just kept coming back day after day to hang out, laugh at Jon Olson’s antics, watch Jon and Tim Linden argue, and hear John Guanzon’s jokes… and occasionally talk traffic exchanges and marketing too, heh.

We’ve watched Jon surf live and do his taxes. We’ve watched Tim blend stuff and program stuff. We’ve gotten to know Jon’s son, Tim’s daughters, and John’s new baby boy, born in April as we all checked in every day to see if the kid had arrived yet.

We know the names of all of John’s cats (well, I do anyway), seen Tim’s two kitties as well, and we know the sound of Jon’s dog Dakota’s collar clinking when she pads into his home office. That beam just under the ceiling behind John in his house? It’s actually a very popular catwalk, and you’d know that if you came to TE Live regularly.

We’ve watched Jon cook chili and chicken, watched his buddies using up every single space in his kitchen cooking up some Filipino feast, and seen his pal otherwise known as HENry the Hitman beat him up with the I Love Hits boxing gloves probably more times than we can count. We saw Jon move from Saskatoon to Edmonton a few months ago, and have witnessed pretty much all the additions and modifications that have been made to his new home and yard since.

(Though we still have yet to see Tim’s new home office in his garage that he’s been talking about for about a year now, since he hasn’t redone the garage and put the new office in there yet… although here, he’s – yes, believe it or not – ranting about toilet tissue. More on that later.)

We’ve met Jon’s girlfriend, The Foot. We’ve seen Tim’s wife a couple of times, even though she tries to hide from the camera anytime she comes in the room. John’s wife Jessica, on the other hand, has no such aversion to the cam and not only been on cam plenty – she’s even given him a smooch online live on TE Live. (Awwwww….) :)

And now that we made the move from UStream to the TE Live room at HotConference, TE Live has been evolving into more of a daily “town hall meeting” type atmosphere where anyone and everyone can join in on cam or on mic, now that we’re not restricted to the three-cohosts-at-a-time deal as on UStream, and that’s been REALLY fun lately seeing more people take part more often. Jon, Tim, and John still co-host for the most part but lots of other folks have been stepping up cam-active participation lately – like Jerry Iannucci, Justin Ledvina, James Holmes, Carl Bailey, and Randy Ritter, to name just a few (as well as myself if I’ve bothered to take a shower and get out of my pajamas and stuff that day).

And while it occurred to me a while back that the move from UStream to the HotConference room might deplete the viewership a lot, instead what’s actually happened recently is we have been having a full room of 25 or more attendees more and more often – even over 70 one day recently! – and we’ve lost the drive-by uninterested and after-school troll traffic, which is not something that’s been missed at all. We might not be quite as handy to find now as we were on UStream, but really… if you’re using traffic exchanges at all, it’d probably be pretty unusual these days to be an active traffic exchange member and not ever have heard of TE Live by now, so all told we’re really kinda easy to find still.

So yeah, it’s been an entire year now, and I’m both thrilled and simply really kinda amazed about that. When I first showed up at TE Live, I was just a mostly unknown surfer who’d been going to Affiliate Funnel conferences off and on for a few months and was trying to find my place in the world of traffic exchange marketing and not really getting anywhere, and the month before had just about given up altogether, but hadn’t entirely.

I heard almost by accident about the TE Toolbox relaunch party and, having been a TE Toolbox member for a long time, decided to go check it out. I hung around for a couple of days just watching and listening and not even signing in and staying a UStream guest, until I finally decided to register on UStream and go in there and start talking and participating. ‘Cos these guys (Jon, Tim and John) were cracking me up… and I like funny, hilarious people.

Then I just never left. And one month later, all of a sudden I had a traffic exchange myself, and I’d started writing this blog about three weeks before that (so this blog’s almost a year old too, starting November 19th). Both because of TE Live, and a year later, here I am still.

And that’s the beauty of Traffic Exchange Live – we goof off for an hour a day and laugh a lot and maybe occasionally talk business (and Jon still does really love to answer questions from people that need help with TEs and marketing, really he does!), and really, you’d be surprised how much you can learn about online marketing just by hanging out there every day.

But the true power and beauty of all that daily hourly TE Live silliness:

  • there’s deals of all kinds made in TE Live all the time through folks networking in there;
  • there’s what will probably be lifelong friendships, and many business partnerships and associations, having been formed and still being formed regularly;
  • just about every modification, addition and improvement there’s been to many of your favorite traffic exchanges in the past year have been vetted in TE Live and even tested by the crew of TE Live regulars;
  • And – literally – hanging out in TE Live has resulted in new businesses, e-books, and programs that have sprung forth from some of the partnerships and associations made right there in TE Live. TE List Building was the first, and now after a conversation that happened in there yesterday, Jon Olson and John Guanzon have plans to release something new (hint: it’s about social stuff) next week!

Jon talks about the power of networking and social media in marketing all the time, and has been on a big kick about it especially lately over at Hit Exchange News – and it’s just true. Traffic Exchange Live is definitely a prime example of what networking and being social and just getting yourself out there can do.

Heck, much as I said – I walked into TE Live a year ago not knowing what the heck I was doing or was gonna do and about to quit online marketing altogether… and next thing I knew, I had a traffic exchange, a blog that people actually read and that people like Jon and Jerry Iannucci and Tony Tezak were saying (so generously and I am ever grateful to them and many others) nice things about all over everywhere.

And here a year later, I’m still here. And after a whole year – and lots and lots of hard work and many, many, many hours of it – I can actually say yep, this is what I do, this whole online marketing/traffic exchange/and whatnot thing (or as my Mom says, “Whatever it is that you do…”).

Goodness knows I love TE Live – James Holmes calls me a “traffic exchange evangelist” (or some might say the “TE cheerleader”, heh) – and heck, even if everyone else went off and did something else (though it’d never be the same with Jon around for hilarity) I’d probably keep it going anyway, lol. As I make some needed changes in my life in the next several months, I’m hoping to be able to participate cam-wise even more regularly – especially if I ever can get around to replacing my brokedown laptop so I can be on live from the back yard in the wonderful spring weather, heh.

But yeah, I pretty much consider it my job, being at Traffic Exchange Live every day (even though I oversleep once in a while – yup, no alarm clocks here!). It gave me my start on a path with a plan and something to do and has just evolved over time into whatever all it is I do now, plus it’s still just as much fun or more as ever and seems to just keep getting bigger and better all the time.

For something to do for an hour a day every day that’s not really work, it’s fantastic for those of us who are mostly tied to our computers all day every day to take a break and just hang out with other almost-like-co-workers.

And I thank Jon, Tim and John and will be ever grateful to them for being such good sports about this blog and my TE Live updates (especially Tim who I probably pick on mercilessly more than the others because, hey, well it’s fun, heh) – they’re all just such good entertainment and always give me something fun to write about, and I am very much appreciative of their being good sports, as well as many others I’ve picked up reporting on regularly here and there over the past year. All of you folks are awesome and that’s why I love the TE community and especially all the TE Live regulars and semi-regulars!

So Happy 1st Birthday (or would that be Happy Anniversary?), Traffic Exchange Live – the water cooler of the traffic exchange industry! May we have many more!

So before we go, a quick update on recent TE Live activities, attendees, and antics of late…

Hot Topics (noooo, not the store) on Traffic Exchange Live Recently:

  • Halloween in Edmonton kind of sucked, said Jon. Not many houses in their neighborhood & not much candy.
  • Tim was extremely disappointed, after having read in USA Today about the new environmentally-friendly (it has no cardboard roll inside) Scott toilet tissue, that his local Wal-Mart in Rhode Island didn’t have it.
  • In fact, he was so disappointed (and ranted about it on TE Live for loooong time) he Tweeted about it too: timlinden Hey @USATODAY I went to @Walmart to buy some tube-free TP and they didn’t have it.. I’m in the north-east too…
  • (Stephen Whittle told me that if I wrote about Tim’s toilet tissue issue on the blog, he was going to cry. Sorry Stephen! Heh.)
  • After Tim’s toilet paper rant, a conference room poll on toilet tissue was taken in TE Live and the results were that a majority of TE Live people fold instead of scrunch.
  • I asked Tim the next day if he ever got a resolution to his toilet tissue issue. (Answer: No.)
  • After much cajoling, we were given the link to Justin Ledvina’s Halloween ghost picture. (I still don’t get it…?)
  • We had a long discussion one day about this post at Carl Bailey’s blog.
  • John told us a couple of weeks ago he was adding chat to ThumbVu, which went live yesterday. (TE Live people can keep secrets!)
  • Jon went on a rant one day about $3.13 and $8 commission payments and why he thought commission payouts should be higher. John shut him up by sending him a rather large commission for something.
  • Adchiever and its pre-launch was the big hot topic of the week last week (of course!). All of us at TE Live just think Adchiever is going to totally ROCK for a long time to come. Thumbs up to Darren Olander for coming out with such an awesome and innovative new program!
  • Sweeva hit 30,000 members last week. Woohoo and congrats, guys!
  • We also spent about an entire day’s TE Live last week discussing the new changes and proposed more changes to Sweeva, which you can read about the aftermath on Tim’s blog.
  • James Holmes filled us in on SWAT-related things, including what was planned for the Wednesday SWAT conference last week, a social media and WordPress blog webinar on Thursday, and the new downline builder added to SWAT on Friday.
  • John and Jerry told jokes one day last week and I thought I’d remember Jerry’s goldfish tank joke for the blog but now I’ve forgotten it. (Oops!)
  • Somebody said this and I didn’t write down who it was that said it (oops again): “You don’t have to be a genius to have your own business.”
  • We had a room full of 25 peeps in TE Live last Friday. Hooray!
  • And yesterday was all about the opening of John Bell’s new traffic exchange, Traffic Swirl, which Jon was super excited about because of the social networking and media focus of it – as well as the aforementioned going live with chat in ThumbVu and more social networking goodness.
  • SEEN ON THE SCENE THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS IN TE LIVE: Brenda Broyles, Darrell Whiston, Darren Olander, Diane Merriam, John Bell, Justin Ledvina, Kevin Agee, Kevin Bailey, Paul Brown, Stephen Whittle, Anthony Shenberger, Dorena Begonia, Jared Silver, Lynne Sherman, Carl Bailey, Wanda Robinson, Ian Bakewell, James Holmes, Matthew Roe, Darrell Whiston, Jack Navarro, Eric Holzwarth, Phil Gerber, Tom Canzoneri, Monty Ferbert, Gary Calvert, Kenneth Locatelli, Chris Horvath,  Brett Phillips, Judy Dodd, Kjell Lindstrom, Kaye Towne, Sean Supplee, Wanda Robinson, Jimmy Adames, Charles Smith – and of course, Jerry Iannucci and Randy Ritter. (We miss Winter Perkins, another “charter” TE Live regular who deserves mention on this TE Live birthday week!)
  • QUOTE OF THE WEEK LAST WEEK: “Personally, I hate mimes. I think all mimes should be banned from TEs. And clowns. Stupid clowns.” – Jerry Iannucci
  • RESPONSE TO QUOTE OF THE WEEK LAST WEEK (with apologies to Jerry Reeder for semi-stealing his line): “But if you ban mimes you can’t sell microphones to them.” – Me
  • RESPONSE TO RESPONSE TO QUOTE OF THE WEEK LAST WEEK: “Land mimes are the real problem… thousands of people maimed and killed by land mimes every year.” – Randy Ritter

*** Traffic Exchange Live broadcasts live weekday afternoons from 3-4 pm EST ***

DID YOU JOIN LUCID LEADS YET? Hey, speaking of traffic exchanges… Eric Holzwarth’s new traffic exchange Lucid Leads opened up a few weeks ago and traffic’s running like gangbusters over there!

Lots of activity and so many cool and useful tools wrapped up in this TE, and a whole lot of super helpful info within the site for new marketers. If you’re not a member already you should do yourself a favor and check it out – join Lucid Leads today!