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From {Young Minds}: Oh yeah! I know him, he @replies me all the time.

September 16, 2009

LAF Note: This Young Minds post was written by Rebecca Denison.

As I’ve become more and more active on Twitter, one thought keeps popping into my head: how do I get to know these people in real life (IRL)?

I’ve found myself talking about people I follow as though I had coffee with them after work or had a great chat after a meeting.  I don’t even notice much of a difference in the way I interact with those I do know IRL and those I’ve only “met” online.

Because I’m still young and newbie, I don’t get a chance to travel much for work, and I don’t get the chance to make it to a lot of Tweetups.  So how can I transition from being that girl that everyone @replies on Twitter to a regular coffee buddy?

More than once someone I chat with on Twitter has suggested that we get some time, but then it doesn’t happen in large part because Igirl-and-computer don’t know what the next move is.  Once I’ve expressed excitement about the idea, how do I make it happen?  I mean, how do I make it happen without being awkward?

One of the big reasons I decided to become more involved on Twitter was because I wanted to build relationships, but I’m struggling to make that next big step.

There is only so much of myself I can show on Twitter and through my blog.  I’m very passionate about public relations measurement, but there is only so much I can learn from the big names in this field by reading their blogs and asking 140-character questions.

I know that networking is never easy, but I think that the added dimension of the online relationship makes the whole process slightly more complicated (and awkward).  It’s weird that there are people who know a great deal about me but have never actually seen me.  Meeting someone you already “know” online is what I would imagine it would be like to talk to an old friend when you have amnesia. The steps to a relationship just aren’t the same

So how do you move relationships into the real world?  And how do you do it without being a total dork?

*Image is a copyright of http://www.superbsuccess.com.

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55 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2009 6:14 am

    Great post! I completely agree- I feel weird about talking to people on Twitter and then meeting them after, it feels like they “know” you and have all these preconceived notions as well.

    • September 16, 2009 6:24 am

      Exactly! I’m always unsure how to act and what details to use during in-person convos. At what point are you creepy?

      • September 16, 2009 7:57 am

        Just be yourself. This is a new avenue of networking – think of it as an event. You don’t know the people there either. You may have heard about them. I exchange e-mails with local colleagues who have connected me with their friends, then I meet them at events. It’s the same thing. Professional networking throws creepy right out the window – it’s not like you’re dating someone you met on MySpace without meeting them first. Now THAT’S creepy.

        • September 16, 2009 8:20 am

          True. In the end it will be beneficial, so I just have to get over it and get out there!

          • September 16, 2009 9:00 am

            Hey, it’s always good to be cautious. I don’t care who you are, or how safe it is. 🙂

            • September 16, 2009 9:14 am

              Very, very true! I really like the idea of using connections to make meeting IRL easier. Being able to talk about a mutual friend (or WITH a mutual friend) would make the whole process much simpler!

  2. September 16, 2009 7:51 am

    Rebecca – one way that I’ve found to transition to ‘IRL’ relationships is to attend events. Try going to a PRSA chapter meeting, a Social Media Breakfast, a marketing association event, or some other type of professional development forum. Often these are relatively inexpensive and a lot of your “Tweeps” will be there. You can meet them in person and often this forms the base interaction for an ongoing relationship. It’s a little more comfortable since it’s part of a larger group function (gives you something to talk about, too!) and then later you can follow-up with the people you met and liked and invite them for coffe or something one-on-one.

    • September 16, 2009 7:54 am

      I’ve been trying to do that! I’m struggling a bit because I’m just an intern (can’t always afford to go), and it seems that often the meet-ups are in places I can’t get to (no car). However, I am definitely seeking out opportunities to meet up with my Tweeps.

      Part of my dilemma is how much to discuss about things I already know about a person from online interaction. Where is the line between interested and creepy?

      • September 16, 2009 7:58 am

        Rebecca,

        I would talk to your local PRSA chapter – do they have a student fee? Do they have sponsorships? Some chapters pay for students to go who can’t afford it every time. It might even be reaching out to the Student Liason on the board and letting them know your concerns. And right there is a connection.

      • September 16, 2009 8:00 am

        Just be real and genuine. Remind people that you follow them on Twitter so they understand why/how you know info about them, and keep things high level to start with. Phrase it in the form of a question. People love talking about themselves.

        “I remember from following you on Twitter that you’re in the process of writing a book. How is that going?”

        “I was following your drama with XYZ airline the other week on Twitter. What a crazy story! What ever ended up happening with that?”

        • September 16, 2009 8:31 am

          Absolutely fabulous advice, Amy. By reminding people why/how you know about them shows that you’re interested and that you’re a real and caring person behind the Twitter avatar, not just some random stranger who happens to know trivia about your contact.

          People like to share stories, so asking questions always is a good idea (whether meeting someone from Twitter or in general). Being real and genuine and asking about things you already commented on or retweeted on Twitter is a great way to remind the person who you are and that you’re the same person who @replied in the first place.

        • September 16, 2009 9:17 am

          Lauren – thanks! That is great advice, I should reach out to a local PRSA chapter once I’ll settled. 🙂

          Amy – That makes sense, why didn’t I think of that?! I guess just steer clear of really personal details, ha ha. Shouldn’t start a conversation with, “So I hear you really like cheerios, me too!”

          SaraKate – I concur, I concur. 🙂 Thanks for the comment! It’s always a good idea to put a conversation in context and remind a person you already have a connection.

  3. September 16, 2009 7:59 am

    In my opinion, meeting someone from Twitter is just like meeting someone IRL from facebook or myspace or any other social networking site. I’ve never had a problem meeting people online and I think the best advice I have on the subject sounds like a cliché Nike ad, but “Just Do It” is the best I’ve got.

    Ask the person to meet in a public place (just in case… you never know what people will be like in person and you want to be safe) for coffee. Explain what you look like, where you’ll be sitting, or what you’ll be wearing so the person will know it’s you. Go up and introduce yourself with a firm handshake like you would anyone else and just let the conversation flow. If you’ve already talked on Twitter, facebook, myspace, through email, on LinkedIn or on your blog, you’re sure to have conversation starters from those starting places. More than likely, you’ll forget all concept of time and be late for your next meeting or appointment. At least, that’s what often happens to me.

    I wish you lots of luck in making the transition from online to meeting in person. If you’re ever in the DC area, give me a shout and we’ll do coffee. 😉

    • September 16, 2009 8:03 am

      I think many feel like Rebecca do – social platforms have opened up a new wave of networking opportunities. I always caution people if you didn’t meet in a professional setting – you just never know. If I’m not at an event, a speaking engagement, or haven’t been intro’d to you through a friend or colleague, then I usually won’t meet one on one unless someone knows where I am.

      • September 16, 2009 8:36 am

        Great advice, even if you did meet in a professional setting, actually. I’m always cautious when I meet people, regardless of the context. It’s great to meet in groups, if at all possible. If you can’t do a Tweetup or go to a sponsored event, starting your own Tweetup with at least one person you know already is a great idea.

        I recently organized a Tweetup and, though only a couple people showed up, it was great to finally meet some of my favorite Tweeps in person. A great way to meet people and feel comfortable at the same time.

        • September 16, 2009 9:19 am

          That is one thing I wanted to be careful about! Being new to the city and with my closest relative about two hours way, I want to make sure that I don’t put myself into dangerous situations.

          How do you go about organizing a Tweetup? That is one thing I was thinking about, since some of the Tweetups around Chicago never seem to be easy for me to get to or attend.

          • SaraKate permalink
            September 16, 2009 2:32 pm

            As far as organizing a Tweetup, get together with a couple of your favorite in-town Twitterers on where to host one and what time to have it (usually a happy hour at a pub or bar is great because you don’t have to make reservations, food and drink are cheaper and readily available, and there’s usually enough room to fit everyone). Then you can use a service like http://twtvite.com, which will let you invite people such as you would to an event on facebook.com or evite.com. (I suggest using multiple platforms if you have friends on facebook or that you can reach through evite that aren’t on Twitter, as well… the more the merrier, in my opinion.)

            Send out a Tweet (or multiple Tweets a week or so ahead of time, a few days ahead, and the same day) to let people know about it and ask them to retweet if you feel comfortable with that. I suggest making the jump to email or direct messaging other organizers so that you’ll know where to find them when you get to the place of the Tweetup and can find each other easily if you haven’t met before.

            At least, this is how I organized my Tweetup. It seems that it would be even better if you can organize one around some other event – a social media conference or webinar that people in your area are likely to get involved with online while at work, etc.

            I hope this helps! Please let me know how it all works out. I look forward to hearing more about your SM to IRL transitions.

  4. September 16, 2009 8:00 am

    Have you ever been introduced to someone through a friend or professional contact? I view the situation in the same light. The first or second meeting may be a bit difficult but if you hit it off, consider it an IRL relationship!

    • September 16, 2009 9:20 am

      I think it can be similar, but I have been asked to “do lunch” with someone I’ve only interacted with on Twitter. And it was someone who no one I know IRL knows IRL, if that makes sense. To me, that’s a bit different. It’s not exactly meeting a total stranger, but I have no real connection other than online.

      • September 16, 2009 9:22 am

        It’s definitely a safety issue – and much different for women than men.

        • September 16, 2009 9:30 am

          Especially for someone like me: I live alone, my closest family is two hours away and I really don’t know the city that well. Also, I’m so naive and always see the best in people, so I feel extra vulnerable sometimes.

          • SaraKate permalink
            September 16, 2009 2:41 pm

            I can totally relate to this (since I always look for the best in people, too). As a young woman in a city where I don’t have family (my relatives live hundreds of miles away), it can be a bit scary taking steps to get to know other people.

            I think it is very different for young women than young men. Young women are definitely more vulnerable than young men, especially in situations like these. Whenever you go out alone or meet someone new, you should always take precautions (regardless of your gender): meet in a public place, know where your exits are, make sure someone (you friends, family, coworkers) knows where you are and what time you should be expected home and when to check in on you – someone above suggested that if things get weird or awkward, you should take a phone call and make an excuse to leave and having an exit strategy like that is always a good idea.

  5. September 16, 2009 8:13 am

    The most natural way to transition your Twitter relationships to real life is by meeting them, as Amy pointed out. But, if your current situation precludes you from doing that, try becoming friends on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn. For me, I’ve begun connecting with a number of people who I “know” from Twitter on Facebook. I know that not everyone is open to using Facebook as a part of their professional networking though. One last tip: Don’t forget about email. Once you start to develop that relationship in 140 characters, take it to the next level by chatting via email.

    This is such a gray area, but I’ve found that it actually helps networking. Just a few years ago, people used to attend events and not know anyone. Now, you can develop those relationships in advance — eliminating some of that awkward “getting to know you” small talk. As is true with traditional networking, you just have to find the approach that works best for you. If you’re uncomfortable, the process will be that much more difficult. Be comfortable in your own skin. You’re probably doing better than you think. 🙂

    Heather (@prtini)

    • September 16, 2009 8:14 am

      I agree with Heather, R. It’s just another level of networking. Take it to e-mail, then take it to phone – you’ll feel much more comfortable and not like a creeper (which you aren’t, trust me!)

    • September 16, 2009 9:23 am

      Ooh, thanks for the advice, Heather! I never thought of it like that before, but now that you say that I realize I already do that! There have been a couple of people I follow on Twitter who have suggested I e-mail them so we can chat more, and then I do. And that is MUCH more personal.

      I think I’m slowly learning what works best for me, and you’re right, I need to just be comfortable. Sometimes I do overthink situations a bit, and in some cases I need to just dive in and trust myself.

  6. September 16, 2009 8:17 am

    2 Words: Coffee. Drinks. In the PR/Adv/Mrkt World – I’d venture to guess that 99% of people in the industry love coffee and/or alcohol. Grabbing a quick coffee in the early morning or afternoon, grabbing a drink after work – the perfect ice breaker for transitioning online relationships into the real world.

    • September 16, 2009 9:23 am

      How do I ask someone to do that, though? I guess I’m still struggling to understand at what point in a Twitter relationship it’s “acceptable” to get drinks or coffee together. Perhaps it will just flow naturally?

      Thanks for the comment, it really made me laugh!

      • Katie permalink
        September 16, 2009 1:11 pm

        I struggle with that too!!! I always want to grab lunch or coffee or drinks but sometimes I feel like it’s internet dating or something! I think the safety issue is huge too! I think this is a great post, Rebecca!

        I like the idea of seeking the person out on another social media outlet as back-up, like finding them on LinkedIn and seeing their references…etc. And I’m the same as you that I always trust people/see the good in them so it’s tough to realize that they could let you down/not be who they say they are…but in my experience so far I haven’t run into that problem.

        I’d say maybe try to organize a Tweet-up, I’ve never done it but it seems like some of the other people commenting have…maybe bring someone you know and ask them to invite people they know…etc. Hmm…maybe I should do this myself, actually! 🙂

        Great topic though! It’s def. something I think about ALL the time!
        -@goKTgo

        • September 16, 2009 2:34 pm

          That’s exactly how most Tweetups start, KT. 🙂 You are throwing out some great ideas, and it’s ok to be nervous.

  7. September 16, 2009 8:26 am

    Rebecca – You ask a great question, and one that frankly, is needs to be asked by all of us in an overly-connected world where despite all of our technology and social media that keeps us virtually constantly connected with each other, our real-life anxieties, time constraints and other non-virtual situations keep us from making those connects.

    Heather makes a great point about how technology has allowed us to each “get to know” someone online, so that when we do finally meet them in person, we have much more productive and meaningful interactions, because we don’t have to go through that initial awkward phase of feeling out the other person. I can only offer what works for me, and after moving to NYC 5 months ago, I have found a really good group of PR people simply by engaging with them on Twitter and Facebook, then making some efforts to join a larger group for some kind of social event. Think of it like something you would do in college when you didn’t know a lot of people yet: You try to connect with one or two people whom you trust and feel a connection to. Then allow them to help you expand your IRL network by introducing you to more people each time you are with them. Over time, you will hopefully find that your IRL connections may even outgrow your online connections. Then you’re in a sweet spot!

    Hope that helps! – Keith Trivitt

    • September 16, 2009 9:25 am

      I like that approach a lot as that is exactly what I did in college! As an out-of-state student, I went to UNC only knowing one person: a girl I’d met at orientation and had clicked with. We ended up living together for three years and we introduced each other to so many people. Gotta start somewhere!

      I think part of my anxiety is my impatience. Why don’t I have a network now?! Why can’t I fix this now?! Ha ha. I’m working on it…

  8. Charlotte permalink
    September 16, 2009 8:36 am

    Rebecca,

    I love this topic because I know that many of us feel the same way. I’m struggling with the same issue in the fact that I live in a very small town that is not very close to any major city so getting to all these exciting networking events is always a challenge and does not happen very often. It’s hard being an intern because you don’t always have a vehicle to get places or the money to find transportation. But networking IRL is so important and when you are passionate about what you’re doing, you are looking for every opportunity to get out there and meet people. So what I’ve started doing is connecting with local people and creating our own local events (such as tweetups, fundraisers, networking events). This creates an opportunity for you to network with people in your local community, build your IRL networking skills and gives you an opportunity to meet people who attend the events you want t go to so that you could ride with them (helping with the transportation element).

    Also, one of the amazing things about connecting with people on social networks is that you can connect with professionals from all over the world. This is also one of the biggest challenges when it comes to ‘IRL’ meetings so maybe try phone calls, skype, or video chats to become more personal.

    Hope that helps.
    Charlotte

    • September 16, 2009 9:26 am

      How do you set up Tweetups? I have thought about that as I find that often I’m afraid I’ll feel out of place at Tweetups because I don’t really fit in. How do you organize one? What steps do you take?

      • Charlotte permalink
        September 17, 2009 8:18 am

        Your first tweetup would typically be a meet and greet. It’s a great opportunity to casually meet people and it by no means has to be anything formal or big. Just message some people you’d like to attend, let them know you’re thinking of organizing a tweetup on this day and if they’d be interested in attending. You could write a blog explaining your intentions and giving the details and direct them to it. Chose a casual and relaxed venue – maybe a coffee house or something like that. Somewhere inviting that makes people feel comfortable. It’s really not hard. When it comes time for the actual event, just be yourself. Think before hand of some questions you’d like to ask specific people so you don’t get stuck in awkward silence (hate that!!) and enjoy yourself.

        You could even do a quick search for locals and invite some people from the community you didn’t even know were on twitter and name tags are a nice touch too. Other than that just enjoy the experience. It is really intimidating meting people in person (if you’re as shy as me) but small tweetups are a good way to work on your skills and become more comfortable with the situation.

        Good luck 🙂

  9. September 16, 2009 8:57 am

    What a great issue.

    I’ve been meeting people I know online only for nearly 2 decades — going back to my BBS (Bulletin Board System) days in high school (early 90’s).

    Now it’s even easier — you can research the people, get their email addresses, cell phone numbers, can checkout their employer’s website to make sure they’re real, etc. [me excluded].

    To alleviate the security concern meet in public (somewhere you’re familiar with), in a small group (provided the rest of the group shows up *cough*cough*), tell someone where you’re going to be and who you’re meeting with, schedule the first one to be brief (coffee or drinks), if anything smells fishy fake a cell phone call and get eff outta Dodge.

    As I’ve painfully discovered (and blogged about somewhere) making the RL connection is unbeatable. If you’re using social media to meet new people/network keeping it all online is like putting up a fence preventing you from reaching your goal.

    • September 16, 2009 9:05 am

      Good points, Cog – and ones that I think everyone could benefit from. I always have a certain level of caution, and usually take these steps to ensure everything is good to go. Maybe I’m cynical, but know where Rebecca is coming from. 🙂

    • September 16, 2009 9:28 am

      Wow, you’ve been doing this for two decades?! You must be a pro at it, then! At what point in an online relationship do you think it’s appropriate to move offline? In your experience, does it flow naturally? I mean, does it just seem to happen as part of a natural conversation or do you think consciously about when to meet up?

      Also, I have to say in response to your “fake a cell phone call and get eff outta Dodge,” there’s an app for that. Literally! 🙂

      • September 16, 2009 9:47 am

        I’ll avoid the Pro reference (besides the part where it references my age :-P) since I might get called to the SM Challenge at PRBC :).

        That’s exactly it — it will/should be natural. (If someone is pushing for an in-person a red flag should go up). When your conversations go from paragraphs on a topic to line by line dialog as if you’re actually talking, or you find yourself saying “Gee, this would be easier in real time” move onto the phone, etc. It’s not difficult to move the needle naturally and safely. Just need to keep your wits about you.

  10. Chevis permalink
    September 16, 2009 9:32 am

    I love this post! I have often times wondered how to go about networking via Twitter, and I have had lunch with a couple of people that I “knew” online. I do think it can be a bit awkward (even though I consider myself to be somewhat of a dork) but at the same time I like it because it gives us a chance to meet and chat with people that we already know we can learn from or hit it off with.

    I personally like tweetups and am looking forward to one at the end of this month. I think the one thing that is completely necessary to do after networking is to follow up with the people you met. It can be hard to do sometimes because we are so busy these days that it just slips our minds, but I think it is very important. Actually, I got the internship I have now from networking with someone at a Tweetup. I definitely need to work on this and thank you for raising the question – how do you move relationships into the real world?

    • September 16, 2009 10:01 am

      I’m with you on the dork thing 🙂

      How did you set up the lunches with those you know online? I know there are people I’d love to meet in person, but I don’t know where to start!

      • Chevis permalink
        September 16, 2009 10:46 am

        I just started with a direct message and went from there.

  11. September 16, 2009 9:36 am

    Great topic, Rebecca. There’s some great feedback and comments here. It’s something I also struggle with, too, however.

    It reminds me of the summer before college when I “met” a bunch of future classmates via Facebook and *Gasp* MySpace and “talked” with some of them via AIM (my, how times have changed!). When I met some of them at school IRL, it was awkward with some, but some relationships blossomed into long-term friendships. What was the difference between the awkward exchanges and the comfortable ones? We didn’t *act* awkwardly, even if we felt funny doing it. We just picked up where we left off in our online conversations and continued building the friendship. The others let the online relationship dictate that the friendship would go no further.

    So, I guess the lesson here is to just be yourself and continue the conversation when you meet some IRL! The rest will fall into place.

    Thanks for a good post!

    Tom O’Keefe
    @TomOKeefe1

    • September 16, 2009 10:02 am

      I think you’re right, I need to learn from my college experience. I definitely did the same thing as an out-of-state student. And I even had the greatest awkward moment with someone I “met” on Facebook over the summer. We were both in the dining hall, I was with a bunch of friends and he was alone. I just walked right up to him and said I recognized him from Facebook and we were both from the Midwest and he should come sit with me and my friends. Most awkward five minutes of my life, but he ended up being a friend for four years AND turns out he’s always kinda awkward, ha ha.

  12. September 16, 2009 9:52 am

    One of the easiest ways I’ve found to connect with people offline is to ask them if they’d be willing to talk to you about their work? If it’s someone you’ve developed a relationship with, it’s as simple as sending a DM, asking them if they’d be willing to grab coffee for maybe a half-hour and talk about what they do.

    My guess is that you’re interested in learning as much as you can about PR, and even if you want to meet someone outside of PR, a career chat is a great way to start the offline ball rolling. The topic of conversation is focused on them, it keeps things a little more formal and less awkward, and if it goes well it will open the door for additional meeting opportunities.

    When it comes to setting up a Tweetup, it’s exactly like planning a small party with your friends. @ the people you’d like to meet and tell them you’re thinking a Tweetup is in order. Ask if they’re interested, when they’re free, and suggest a couple places close to you as a meeting spot. See who responds and go from there. You can always send out a Twtvite when all the details are settled.

    Offline meetings are a fantastic opportunity to solidify your relationships. Don’t let the nitty gritty details paralyze you, just go for it!

    • September 16, 2009 10:03 am

      Wow! Thanks for the great advice. Seems simple enough, I will definitely try my hand at it soon. What do you recommend for Tweetup activities? Just drinks or coffee? Would it be cheesy to try to meet up at the zoo or something touristy like that?

      • September 16, 2009 10:46 am

        It’s just getting past that first initial barrier or feeling of awkwardness. I’ve learned that you really can’t let those feelings get in the way. They’re so miniscule in the grand scheme of making an offline connection that turns into a meaningful friendship or mentorship.

        Coffee is a great starter — during the day, in a public place, so threat level is pretty low. Drinks are fantastic for a bigger tweet-up. I think an activity tweet-up would be great — just make sure it’s not so active that it detracts from the chances you have to talk to people.

  13. sherri haymond permalink
    September 16, 2009 10:15 am

    Rebecca & Lauren, excellent post. Everyone who commented before me gives great advice. I’ll add what I can.

    It’s funny, this social media thing. All of a sudden, I have so many “friends” I’ve met online – some IRL, some just on the phone and some, well, that I haven’t really “met” yet at all. For me, if it’s going to be a one-on-one thing, it always starts on the phone. Maybe this is because so many of my online friends who’ve become friends IRL (well, on the phone, anyway…) don’t live in my area. Phone is easy – so is Skype (and Skype is great because you can actually see the person when you’re talking with them). And also, email can be a little cold (at least for me). If I’m thinking about setting up a one-on-one, I first like to speak with the person and feel it out. If I’m at all creeped out (sorry boys – but the “creeped out” thing only happens with men for me – so the phone thing is the most important here) – then I don’t go there. Ever.

    As for the group meeting – I was literally shaking before my first TweetUp (which was in May). But as others have noted, TweetUps are just like any other networking event. I went by myself and then looked for the people I was already “friends” with on Twitter. It was a great experience, and I’ve been to a ton of TweetUps since then. As Cog said, meeting your online contacts IRL is really your end game. Nothing replaces a real life, face to face (or at least phone call…) relationship. It may be scary at first, but you have to just go for it (after taking all necessary safety precautions). My IRL friends whom I first “met” on Twitter have helped me to figure it out, switch careers and build my business. Invaluable.

    • September 16, 2009 10:21 am

      I am so happy to hear you say you were shaking (not happy you were shaking, but you know!) because I was shaking before my first Tweetup, too! Oh goodness, it was stressful!

      Skype! Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve been using it more and more to talk to people I would usually talk to on the phone. What a great way to “meet” someone without seeing them in person. It would be almost like the real thing with much less stress, I think.

      • sherri haymond permalink
        September 16, 2009 10:24 am

        That’s exactly what it’s like! I love Skype – especially for this sort of thing!

  14. September 16, 2009 12:58 pm

    I definitely suggest group meet-ups as well. I’ve gone to a couple where many of my “online” friends were. I find from there, you can then be ‘I met x person at this meet-up, and they met y person somewhere else, thus I can meet one-on-one with y person as I know they’re chill and we both have x person in common.’

    • September 16, 2009 1:07 pm

      I like your logic! I know Person X, therefore by the transitive property of Twitter…

  15. Jackie Adkins permalink
    September 16, 2009 3:05 pm

    Before I started my job I met my first social media contact by setting up a time and meeting up with him over at his office. I got a tour of the place and then we had some time to just sit and talk. Since then we’ve gotten together a couple of times for drinks/meals and stuff. What I learned from that is usually the person on the other end is just as eager to meet some of their social media connections as you are, it’s just a matter of someone taking the first step and breaking the ice. After all, the worst that can happen is they say no.

    Although I haven’t had the opportunity to meet many of these contacts, I think it can be extremely valuable because if you do meet someone in person, they’re 10 times more likely to have your back, whether that’s commenting on your blog, retweeting stuff you put out, helping you get a job, you name it. So that doesn’t really answer your question, but it does stress the importance of doing it!

  16. Natalie permalink
    September 17, 2009 12:06 am

    Is it really so bad to be a dork when you network? I mean, I get that we need to be courteous and such, but the reality is that I’m a dork who’s been trying to be cool all my life and I realize now that I’m really never going to change that. Is it ok if I make mistakes while I network? I sure hope so, because even if it’s not, I’m probably going to make them. LOL.

    • September 17, 2009 7:22 am

      Oh, heck no! I’m such a dork and so proud! 🙂

      I think it definitely adds to my charm and makes me seem like a real person. If I were flawless, I think I’d be much harder to relate to. I love being a dork (or nerd of Flerd) and you should be, too!

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