I was browsing popular hashtags a couple of weeks ago and found the tag #gno to be the most popular. Of course the first thing I wondered was what gno meant. After some researching I found that it stood for Girls Night Out and was created by founders Carissa Rogers and Jyl Johnson Pattee.
According to Jyl, “In mid September, Carissa suggested we get on twitter for a “girl’s night out” with a couple of online friends to learn the twitter ropes together. We thought it’d be more fun to practice while tweeting to each other than to some unknown tweople. Since Carissa had been on twitter for a whole 2 weeks LOL!, she was our mentor.”
The next Tuesday night, which they referred to as Girls Night Out, 10 people showed up. It wasn’t until the third week when they learned about applying a hashtag that they added #GNO and 50 more showed up.
“At the end of October, #gno gals asked for a place where we could capture each other’s names and twitter IDs, so party goers could follow each other. This resulted in the birth of the Mommy Gossip—GNO blog. My personal blog is called Mommy Gossip and we thought it’d work perfectly for the name of our blog. So, we called it Mommy Gossip—GNO (http://mommygossip-gno.blogspot.com). Carissa and I have not written much on the blog. Instead, we wanted to use it—when we weren’t using it to promote #gno parties or capturing RSVP info—as a way to promote community members’ blogs. The blog has now been up for 4 months and features five guest bloggers a week in addition to promoting the #gno weekly events. Also, it has a couple of other pages, including the “Cares” page (http://mommygossip-cares.blogspot.com), which highlights past, current, and future ways the newly named Mom It Forward community is reaching out and changing the lives of others.”
What Is Mom It Forward and how does it tie into #gno?
“We get this question all the time. In a nutshell, #gno and its weekly parties started because of a few girl’s desire to learn twitter. Mom It Forward started when Carissa and I noticed an amazing trend during those parties. We started choosing weekly party topics in October and asking guest tweets (“experts”) to tweet with us during the events. We noticed that some topics were hotter than others. We were amazingly surprised when service and giving and random acts of kindness seemed to be the hottest topics of all. We found this out first, by having an online virtual food drive to raise money for feedingamerica.org in November and second, when we issued a random acts of kindness challenge to community members in December. We noticed that if we chose a fun topic like shopping and discussed it at #gno, it would be fun for the evening. But, when we chose a topic or event that was service related, it stayed hot for weeks at a time. That is when the idea to focus the community on a service-related mission—of “changing the world one mom at a time”—was created. We came up with the name Mom It Forward in December.
But again, how do the two tie together? Mom It Forward has three purposes: 1) to strengthen moms, 2) to help moms strengthen their families, and 3) to provide moms with ideas for and opportunities to strengthen their communities and beyond. We see #gno as a great way to achieve all of these. We choose monthly themes with weekly topics that support those themes. We are careful in choosing themes and topics we feel help to achieve these three purposes. So, although a specific #gno topic may seem trivial, it is all very calculated and well balanced—physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and/or mentally.”-Jyl
How many people follow #gno now?
“I can tell you we have well over 300 followers on our Mom It Forward website. We have well over 100 people who RSVP for a Tuesday night #GNO directly on the website, and then there are 150+ who RSVP via facebook invites, but do they overlap? I’m not sure?
There are around 350 members of our Mom It Forward Facebook group.”
On Tuesday nights we tweet as high as 500 tweets per minute, and often hold at around 2-300 tweets per minute well into the night! How many more are watching and not participating? Who knows!” -Carissa