As I mentioned earlier, I was out of town for a good part of last week at a conference. Normally, my time at a conference is taken up with attending educational sessions, and then being a wallflower at the networking parts of the conference, if not skipping them altogether to see the city or watch TV in my room. Not this time.
One, I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to do that, I was going to, at least try to hang around and talk to people as much as I could manage. Secondly, the fact that I was blogging and using Twitter to talk about the conference meant that there was a small, but significant, number of people who were reading what I was writing as the show was going on, and actually wanted to find me and chat with me.
To me, the shy introvert that I am (though it has been an area of some improvement over the last few years, I no longer sweat and feel nervous when someone I don’t know talks to me.), this is really the promise of the Internet, and social networking tools. Suddenly, rather than me having to try and talk about myself, I can spend time writing and connecting with people with things like this blog, and when I do get the opportunity to meet someone in real life, we already have this in common. Many of the first few folks I chatted with at Techshow had been reading my stuff about the show, and those conversations gave me the confidence to chat with other folks at various sessions and lunches, even when they weren’t reading the blogs or following the conference Twitter back channel. At the end of the three days, I had made some good connections who I have much to learn from, and talked to many other people, sharing ideas, war stories, etc.
Overall, that made what was already a good educational conference that much more of a good experience, and one of the best times I’ve had working. 🙂
It’s also what keeps me going, writing for a few different sites, keeping a profile in a number of places, and sharing my experiences here, the connections it makes possible, even if we never get to meet in person!