Yesterday was the Houston Twitterites meetup at Star Pizza. It was great to meet (live and in person) so many interesting people I read about daily, and new people I look forward to reading about. It was nice to put a face and real name to the online personas.
Only one person in my family and very few of my close friends are online socially. That means, other than my 22-year-old brother and two friends, no one has a MySpace or Facebook account, have only heard about Twitter from me, and don’t have Flickr accounts… just to name a few. I’ve been pulling people into LinkedIn, slowly. And I’ve made one convert to Facebook. That’s it.
So it was very nice, and extremely comfortable, to be with a group of people to whom being online is just an extension of our real lives. We hold conversations, and provide insights and recommendations to each other. We pepper each other’s daily movements with a look at what goes on in the lives of others. We make friendships, as real and sometimes as strong as those with the people we see everyday.
And I cannot explain adequately to those who don’t experience it.
Before Twitter and MySpace and Facebook, even before blogs, I had this kind of interaction from email lists. I have this very vivid memory of a trip to San Francisco nine years ago, where I had several lunches and coffee moments with people I only knew through online connections. It was surreal, and it was wonderful.
I look forward to the next meeting, and to continuing this online life… one part of a whole.