TWITTER ~ BUILDING BRIDGES TO REAL LIFE

October 9th, 2009 by CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego)


This post is about some of the people I have met virtually on twitter, whom I would like to meet in Real Life. It’s not about the Twitterati, whom we’d ALL like to meet; it’s about some of those ‘regular’ terrific people I have continuing conversations with.

There are lots of others whom I converse with once or occasionally, and that’s typical of twitter, just like a really long train journey; some get on the train and stay all the way, maybe even to the end (where ever and whenever that is), and others get on and off, many with great conversations during the ride.

The Twitter Train

When I started this journey I only knew four twitter people in Real Life. So far I have met one more person, @Darnoc, almost met a second, @bethevans in Beijing last April, and will meet @lonniehodge for lunch in Hong Kong next month, and hopefully soon meet @DanHarris in Seattle, who writes China Law Blog; invaluable if you do biz in China, or even just to get a flavor of what is going on in China, something everyone should get!.

Beth @Bethevens has a real handle on the China Art scene, something I am very interested in.

Lonnie @lonniehodge is an American professor in China, “writing for revenge” ☺ and not only, but always ready for conversation. He will be a treat to meet! He’s also a poet.

@Darnoc, who goes by Alexander (as in The Great) is an international Energy and Cleantech professional, and was in Beijing when we first conversed; yet we actually met face to face on Orcas Island in the San Juans for lunch at Roses. We will meet again for sure; in the Islands, Seattle or maybe China.

Having spent many years consulting for early stage companies, often being their PR, Marketing & Advertising departments all rolled into one, it is no surprise that I converse with so many great people in this space. Or is it just that the majority of people I encountered at the start of my trip were expert ☺ in PR and marketing…..

@CathyWebSavvyPR has been an invaluable fellow traveler/friend from the very beginning; helping me understand the finer points of traveling the SM track. Easy to reach, Cathy is always there, with just the right answers. I am a very fast learner, but invariably she has helped me get up to speed even faster.

@ConversationAge is the perfect welcoming committee of one, helping & showcasing new arrivals. Valeria’s Blog was the first I subscribed to (& not without some difficulty on my part), a good thing, as I still learn from the people and subjects she writes about (and besides she did a post about me in April).

@Wilsonellis started traveling the twitter route about the same time I did, and Debra and I have been conversing all along the way. I’ve been watching how SHE does it (very well too), making a statement for using SM to get her marketing message across. I really look forward to meeting her, as she is very astute at viewing real life.

@DannyBrown; well everyone knows Danny and what he is doing with his Charity focus, and how it is creating Twitterbuz to help people and causes. He has a great sense of humor & is always ready with a witty or helpful reply back to me. I’d love to spend an evening at an English pub with Danny.

@Mandy_Vavrinak is a relatively new traveler on my train. I build bridges, and she facilitates connections, between just about everything☺ Her style (twitter image) is compelling, and she is lots of fun to converse with.

@StefanoMaggi @@@@@ and I exchange ideas on influence, customer service, data visualization, technology and Islands amongst other things. I am hoping we will meet in person in the San Juan Islands, or maybe for lunch on Monte Isola in Lago Iseo ~ where they serve “fish of the lake”, not to be missed.

montisola-1995-500

@merylkevans @GetResults @zkellyq @JDEbberly @3keyscoach literally float around the chat arena, adding substance and humor to what is a bizarre discussion format. I love it when they all show up together, adds real pizzazz. They are a great group, who work the chat scene in a flock or singularly. Our individual conversations have however now reached way beyond the chat.

Meryl or @merylkevans has an excellent handle on small biz and entrepreneurship; she’s an accomplished writer, and she recently joined me on twine.com.

John does get it @getresults and has a very valuable business focus as a succession planner. He is an author and much more.

JD @JDEbberly does the chat scene 24/7 or so it seems. I like the way he facilitates information exchange, and any time a chat lags he jumps in and takes over. A great traveler to have aboard when the train breaks down!

Ellie @3keyscoach is an entrepreneur coach who offers so much more insight than just coaching. Starting out in a new business, she’d be high on my list. One day I hope to design a city pied a’ terre for her.

Kelly @zkellyq is one the best; writing about technology related subjects in a clear and understandable style, (and shares my obsession with excel). Total surprise when she wrote about my Design Preference Survey last week, but that’s just another example of cross-pollination; something we’ll discuss when we meet next summer.

One of the fascinations about a journey like this is the diversity. All sizes, shapes and colors, including GenY, and the two I converse with most are in their own rail car!

@TransitionalTee has an amazing twitter presence, & I asked her if she thinks people really can live up to their twitter image in person? She said those she had actually met were even more awesome! She writes with a different take on things, which I appreciate, and is a talented contributor to several chats I frequent. I am sure I will not be disappointed when I meet Teresa!

@DavidSpinks gets my “flitter about twitter” award (bird analogy). He moves around like the very best cocktail party host, always interesting, always engaging, making that final-say comment stick! I used to see people like David on European trains, interested in what everyone is doing and where they are going, cruising up and down the corridor, poking their heads into each compartment! A great addition to my journey, and we should absolutely meet on a train.

It’s taken awhile but I have some of the most interesting designers traveling with me now:

@jeanettejoy has a following that would classify her as twitterati, but she is warm and down to earth; always has time to respond and be helpful. I’d love to discuss how her Design Psychology has given her an edge as a designer! It’s all about relationships, so I’ve often thought this could be key☺ Lunch is waiting.

lunch500

@RobinMuto was the first designer who joined my journey. Though our styles are very different, the collaborative way we get there is very similar. I’ve had lots of fun and informative conversations with Robin.

@Interleafer writes an intriguing garden-focused Blog, and is always ready with helpful hints, comments or discussions on garden related subjects, or entrepreneurial business; which she implements very well. I hope one day we will find ourselves working on the same project.

@Urbanverse is exactly whom I had hoped to meet up with when I began this trip; architect, futurist & writer. Cindy has started a fabulous new Blog for research (a book?) and we‘ve commented at length ~ very enjoyable and thought provoking working things out together. It can only be that much better in person!

@rpfiii is fishead, or ‘fishman’ as I heard him called on twine.com, where he is one of the top 10 contributors. He’s a quiet traveler on my train, but don’t be fooled, he’s into lots of things; especially design and conversation. Check him out on twine.com

Brian @DR1665 is a very original writer. His subject and the way he approaches it is of particular interest to me. Recently he was featured by ConversationAgent, and I certainly can’t improve on it……

I promised myself when I started this journey, I wouldn’t ever write about twitter; not another post, please …..but I’m doing it anyway. If I’ve missed anyone who feels they’re on my train but I overlooked them, please let me know, and WHY, and I’ll be happy to add another car ☺ And on the other hand, if anyone doesn’t like what I’ve written about them, which is just how I see them as fellow travelers, please let me know and I’ll kick you off the train; no, I mean I’ll modify it ☺ and move you to the caboose. Alternatively, have your say in the comments below!

And tell me, do you think twitter is like a train journey? Or something else……

33 Responses to “TWITTER ~ BUILDING BRIDGES TO REAL LIFE”

  1. @darnoc Says:

    Terrific post…so much more useful to read something like this on Friday vs. the usual Twitter handle mentions for Follow Friday.

    The train analogy is very apt….while the rolling stock may be the conveyance, the people make the journey.

  2. Mandy Vavrinak Says:

    Caroline,

    I am so glad to be journeying with you! Thanks for taking the time to specifically mention talents and interests of some of your fellow-travelers. I think your description of the Twitter-train is quite appropro & an inspiring way to look at the interactions that happen along the way.

    Thanks for including me!

  3. David Spinks Says:

    Caroline,

    Very creative. I’m humbled by my “flitter abound twitter” award haha. You have me pegged ;)

    It’s been, and will continue to be a pleasure.

    David

  4. Debra Ellis Says:

    Caroline,

    I always look forward to your posts because they are insightful, educational, and entertaining. Meeting you on twitter is one of the social media perks. Being included in your post is extremely flattering.

    Meeting you in person will be a bonus worth waiting for.

    Debra

  5. Teresa Basich Says:

    Aw, thank you so much, Caroline. :) You are such a joy to chat with and you contribute great perspective to all the chats we hover in together. I hope we do indeed get the chance to meet in person! And yes, I think your analogy is a great one — these networks are definitely a bit like trains, moving us through a journey and giving us a chance to chat with great people along the way.

  6. Teresa Basich Says:

    I just realized how many times I used “great” in that comment. It might be time for me to mix up my lexicon a little bit. ;)

  7. Laura Livengood Schaub (InterLeafer) Says:

    Caroline, what a charming and generous post! I love your train analogy (and the graphic is perfect!) I DO agree, and hope we can look for ANY excuse to work together. Maybe you could find your way down to San Francisco at the end of March for the Flower & Garden Show? Thanks for the kind mention; Twitter and blogging have made my world SO much bigger; thanks for being a part of it!

  8. Brian Driggs Says:

    CASUDI!

    Thanks for including me! As much as I love the entrepreneurial spirit of Twitter, I often feel like I’m one of the people wandering about in the fog. Part of me is just a simple grease monkey who would like nothing more than to spend time on Twitter talking cars with other gearheads, but there’s the other part of me that’s seen the power of connecting people and ideas through online communities that is obsessed with bringing people together.

    Cars are what I know. I like to think that, by converting SM concepts into automotive metaphors, I can make things click for more people (myself included). I consider myself fortunate to count such a well-traveled, artistic individual such as yourself among my Twitter friends.

    I am still working out details of my possible trip to the Tahoe area around Thanksgiving for a wedding. Should things work out, perhaps we’ll get a coffee!

  9. Robin Muto Says:

    Awwhh, this is soooo sweet of you to go to such great lengths to acknowledge so many people and the train idea is very appropriate and creative…Nice job! I have enjoyed tweeting with you too. This is by far the best #FF I ever received
    THANK YOU

  10. Robyn Hawk Says:

    Excellent analogy – the train, and I, like you have riders in different cars – it makes for an always event filled journey…

    Thanks for the great post and for introducing me to your friends…I may have to look some up!

    Robyn Hawk
    @aflyonthewall

  11. Jeanette Says:

    Caroline!

    Thank you for including me on your Twitter Train! I love the analogy. Twitter has been so good to me… I got to go to http://WWW.Frank-McKinney.com‘s amazing Extreme Home tour in Palm Beach and Haiti from a tweet. Would you like to go with me next time?

    I just know we will meet soon for a FUN exchange. The people I’ve met in person through twitter are even better in person. Meet me in Los Angeles, NYC, Austin or ________ soon!

    Joy~

    Jeanette
    (AKA @JeanetteJoy)

  12. Danny Brown Says:

    This is quite possibly the funkiest train I have ever seen! I’ll be your passenger any day! :)

  13. CathyWebSavvyPR Says:

    Caroline,

    Thanks for including me in your post. One of the best Follow Friday ideas, with a bit of a sense of humor too. I LOVE the train graphic.

    I had not thought of Twitter as a train before, if so, it has the feel of the train when I took the train from Athens, Greece all the way to Hamburg, Germany in college (I think it was 48 or 72 hours, but I can’t remember – I know there was at least one overnight on the train). The train was a microcosm of the areas we rode though. In Greece my car had a village priest in his 30’s, a 21 year old American (me), a young couple from the city, and older couple from the country and a 23 year old Greek city girl, we spoke a smattering of language between us – Greek, English, German, Spanish & French. The peoples, languages, an cultures shifted as we stopped at towns and crossed borders.

    The train I took later that year, from Glasgow Scotland around the north of the UK and down to London, was like what you are speaking of. The compartments were all on one side of the train, with the Aisle on the other, so you could walk by, get to the dining car, chat with folks, or stay in your compartment and be quiet if you wanted to. People chatted and pointed out scenery etc. Kinda like a retweet on twitter – “hey did you see that, that was cool, pretty, useful” etc. Okay, I know I’m pushing the analogy a bit, but you get the idea.

    The serendipity of Twitter is kind of like a Grand Central Station, but quieter, and slower somehow – like a movie scene in slow motion. All those trains and people coming into one central hub. Some folks are changing trains, some taking the subway, some walking in or out the doors, some catching a cab, some meeting and striking up a serendipitous conversation, some meeting at an appointed time and place. Business and pleasure are being transacted. But maybe a large European station, in the US, people in stations are often too focused on their goal, schedule etc to chat.

    It’s good to be on the train with you! You’ve got some good company here, and I ‘know’ many of them, others I follow, but have not interacted with them much on Twitter, others you have just introduced to me, and I have followed them. Thanks

    Cathy Larkin

  14. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Alexander (@Darnoc) ~ Very true the people” like you” MAKE the journey, and twitter is just the conveyance……

    Mandy and Robin ~ I think it really a good idea for all of us to step back once in a while and recognize those that contribute to our journey(s) through life, so this was a fun post where I could do just that. BTW the train graphic enlarges ~ everyone has less elongated heads ~ and I may just have to do it next in poster size ~ by popular demand.

    Debra ~ I have the feeling we’ll be conversing for a very long time. I also am really looking forward to your guesting on #blogchat this Sunday.

    David ~ though I am indeed the other side of thirty, I do know how to peg things from time to time:) ….. so glad you liked your award. The pleasure is also mine.

    Teresa ~ Sometimes things ARE just GREAT ~ thanks for your GREAT comment .

    Laura ~ Great invite to visit the Garden Show in SF in the Spring and meet you ~ Thanks.

    Robyn ~ It looks like you have a similar train, maybe sometime we’ll both be in the station at the same time:-)

    Thanks to all of you for a taking the time and commenting.

  15. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Alexander (@Darnoc) ~ Very true the people” like you” MAKE the journey, and twitter is just the conveyance……

    Mandy and Robin ~ I think it really a good idea for all of us to step back once in a while and recognize those that contribute to our journey(s) through life, so this was a fun post where I could do just that. BTW the train graphic enlarges ~ everyone has less elongated heads ~ and I may just have to do it next in poster size ~ by popular demand.

    Debra ~ I have the feeling we’ll be conversing for a very long time. I also am really looking forward to your guesting on #blogchat this Sunday.

    David ~ though I am indeed the other side of thirty, I do know how to peg things from time to time:) ….. so glad you liked your award. The pleasure is also mine.

    Teresa ~ Sometimes things ARE just GREAT ~ thanks for your GREAT comment .

    Laura ~ Great invite to visit the Garden Show in SF in the Spring and meet you ~ Thanks.

    Robyn ~ It looks like you have a similar train, maybe sometime we’ll both be in the station at the same time:-)

    Thanks to all of you for a taking the time and commenting.

  16. CathyWebSavvyPR Says:

    sorry for the long comment – I guess I let the train get ahead of me!

  17. CathyWebSavvyPR Says:

    sorry for the long comment – I guess I let the train get ahead of me!

  18. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Brian ~ You always write the best comments and have been a great supporter for some of my off the track posts. I for one always enjoy your writing and especially the automotive metaphors; maybe because I am into the automotive in a similar way even though our focus is different. Mitsubishi or Audi they’re both automotive ;-) BTW I also do 50’s American trucks. Thanks for commenting and we’ll plan on coffee at Tahoe if our tracks coincide.

    Jeanette ~ What a fabulous invite ~ YES, let’s try and synchronize. I’m headed to China next month for some design collaboration, but may be in LA early next year. Let me know when the “Extreme” tours are and I’ll try and arrange my schedule. We’ll meet sometime soon for sure.

    Danny ~ Thanks for the great tweets about my post and for your recognition of “funky”. BTW ever watchful Cathy corrected me and said my invite should have been to a Scottish pub :-) ~ How about a Canadian PUB with a European atmosphere, in Vancouver or Toronto ?

    Cathy ~ I am happy my analogy inspired such vivid memories of trains. So glad you clarified the configuration of the European trains with the long corridor along one side, now David will have a better image of what I had in mind. Thanks for all your help and your “post” as comment :-)

  19. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Brian ~ You always write the best comments and have been a great supporter for some of my off the track posts. I for one always enjoy your writing and especially the automotive metaphors; maybe because I am into the automotive in a similar way even though our focus is different. Mitsubishi or Audi they’re both automotive ;-) BTW I also do 50’s American trucks. Thanks for commenting and we’ll plan on coffee at Tahoe if our tracks coincide.

    Jeanette ~ What a fabulous invite ~ YES, let’s try and synchronize. I’m headed to China next month for some design collaboration, but may be in LA early next year. Let me know when the “Extreme” tours are and I’ll try and arrange my schedule. We’ll meet sometime soon for sure.

    Danny ~ Thanks for the great tweets about my post and for your recognition of “funky”. BTW ever watchful Cathy corrected me and said my invite should have been to a Scottish pub :-) ~ How about a Canadian PUB with a European atmosphere, in Vancouver or Toronto ?

    Cathy ~ I am happy my analogy inspired such vivid memories of trains. So glad you clarified the configuration of the European trains with the long corridor along one side, now David will have a better image of what I had in mind. Thanks for all your help and your “post” as comment :-)

  20. Dan Says:

    I am honored to have been made a part of the ride and I love the graphics!!

  21. Dan Says:

    I am honored to have been made a part of the ride and I love the graphics!!

  22. Meryl K Evans Says:

    I love this train ride and am honored to be on it. Some folks believe that you don’t make real friends online — but I do. I’ve met some in person and I am eager to meet others (despite not being big on in-person stuff).

    Choo choo!

  23. Meryl K Evans Says:

    I love this train ride and am honored to be on it. Some folks believe that you don’t make real friends online — but I do. I’ve met some in person and I am eager to meet others (despite not being big on in-person stuff).

    Choo choo!

  24. Tom Lewis Says:

    Caroline,

    What a creative posting! You made me think about the people in my twitter train, and I’m on a whole different track. The beauty of it is I got a link to this blog from a relative who knows I am a Twitter freak @originalprint. Well done.

  25. Tom Lewis Says:

    Caroline,

    What a creative posting! You made me think about the people in my twitter train, and I’m on a whole different track. The beauty of it is I got a link to this blog from a relative who knows I am a Twitter freak @originalprint. Well done.

  26. fishead Says:

    Choo-Choo. I wanna ride in the caboose!

    Thanks for the mention, happy to have contributed. And it’s kinda funny how circumstances conspire to crash different trains into each other. I just wish they’d widen the tracks a little so we can go faster. :)

  27. fishead Says:

    Choo-Choo. I wanna ride in the caboose!

    Thanks for the mention, happy to have contributed. And it’s kinda funny how circumstances conspire to crash different trains into each other. I just wish they’d widen the tracks a little so we can go faster. :)

  28. Beth Evans Says:

    Thanks so much for the mention. I have found tweetups (and twitter in general) to be a great way to build my professional and social network, especially in China.

  29. Beth Evans Says:

    Thanks so much for the mention. I have found tweetups (and twitter in general) to be a great way to build my professional and social network, especially in China.

  30. Inclined to Design Says:

    […] of the many social media connections I made are covered in my  TWITTER ~ BUILDING BRIDGES TO REAL LIFE post ~stay tuned for an updated ‘consist’ […]

  31. Inclined to Design Says:

    […] of the many social media connections I made are covered in my  TWITTER ~ BUILDING BRIDGES TO REAL LIFE post ~stay tuned for an updated ‘consist’ […]

  32. Mandy Vavrinak Says:

    Caroline,

    I am so glad to be journeying with you! Thanks for taking the time to specifically mention talents and interests of some of your fellow-travelers. I think your description of the Twitter-train is quite appropro & an inspiring way to look at the interactions that happen along the way.

    Thanks for including me!

  33. Mandy Vavrinak Says:

    Caroline,

    I am so glad to be journeying with you! Thanks for taking the time to specifically mention talents and interests of some of your fellow-travelers. I think your description of the Twitter-train is quite appropro & an inspiring way to look at the interactions that happen along the way.

    Thanks for including me!

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