Recently, I had the good fortune to co-host Bobby Umar’s #PoCchat on Twitter. PoC stands for Power of Connection. I “discovered” Bobby through his dynamic TEDx presentation The 5 Cs of Connection. I really appreciate having the opportunity, and thought I’d go a little deeper into my own personal reasons to “Drive Online Connections Offline”–the topic of the tweetchat.
By the way, here are the numbers that our tweetchat generated:
Similar to @IdeaBloke, whenever I go somewhere now, I consider if there’s someone I could meet from online. Better still, are there two people I could meet? For instance, I recently met one of my new besties, @CarlaKerstens through friend @WClements1 on Twitter, and then we met at Twitter. Since then, we’ve texted, Facebooked, tweeted, had meals and drinks, gone to Big Sur, the Exploratorium, and drunk hot chocolate at @TCHO.
At WordCampSF, I met up with friend Ruby Rusine (@SocialChirps) who had traveled from Sacramento for her first WordCamp. Although we had never met before, we spent many hours together, and, by the end of WordCamp, had each invited the other to stay the next time we needed a place. And also got to visit with my friend Darla @DarlasRock, who I’d met because we’d both gone to see @BrianSolis for his #WTF talk and giveaway at @Yammer.
One of my favorite experiences was traveling to WordCamp Orange County, where I got to meet my online friend Peter Woolvett (@CustomerSpecs) in real life. We met up with a third friend, @Gidgey, sat together, and attended many of the same talks. During a few slow times, we snuck out together for espresso and sorbet, attended an after-party, and searched out unusual breakfast places. Laughter ensued.
More Friendship Than Business
When @Gidgey traveled up north to see her family, I got to meet her talented and lovely sis, @TheMcCannski, and travel to Marin together. In addition, we met up with the rest of her family and had brunch together. And recently, when another friend, whom I met on Twitter, came down for a conference, we met up and she stayed with me.
Last year, I met up with nine women whom I met through Twitter, among them Pam (@PamAnnMarketing), Bridget (@Gidgey), Roxanne (@r3SocialMedia), Cyndi (@SoSchatze), Wendy (@MrsPickle_), Amy (@TheFabulousOne), Kendra (@Kendra_Hubbard), Deirdre (@TankGirlMktg), and Kirti (@DiyaMarketing). At first our comraderie centered around business. Now we are friends and I can’t imagine life without them–since we talk every day. This year, we are doing another in-person meetup. Next year, we hope that the always effervescent Ali (@AliSilversmith) and Jen and the “other Bridget” can join us. And of course we give each other support, friendship, advice, and business, too. A few of us are breaking off to do still another meetup with a few others who tweet for automotive businesses.
I would not hesitate to call up any of these people–now friends–if I needed a shoulder to cry on, or for personal or professional advice. What I would advise others is not to be afraid to deepen your online relationships by, as Bobby Umar would put it, “asking the tough questions.” Then when you meet in person it’s like you’re meeting an old friend in the flesh.
How About You?
These are just a few examples of people I’ve met through online connections. If you’ve met people from online, offline, how did it go? I’m really interested in your stories!