I am a constant face-to-face networker and also an avid user of social media. In May I started an experiment to better help me understand:
1. The comparative strengths and weaknesses of face-to-face and social media while better understanding how they work together and apart.
2. Combating the feelings of “alone-in-a-crowd” inherent in our constant connections to and through mobile devices.
3. Preventing future regrets like those I have had in the past when I haven’t made more of strong personal connections. Malcolm Gladwell and Francois Bitz are two more well known people who presented such opportunities to me. Both incredibly impressive from first meeting, before they hit it big, both lost as connections due to my shyness or laziness or both.
4. The relationship between what is in the front of my mind vs. what is in an online database.
5. What happens when you establish “quick trust” with people and share your personal goals with only a desire to help – and no clear personal benefit.
Phase One: Meet
I am just going on gut when I chose who to talk to while at the same time I am trying to maintain a diversity of age, race, and gender. If they have that spark in their eye, or something, I go for it. For me, the quality of these people has been the most amazing thing. Phase one is officially over and I have met over three-hundred people on my travels in China, Canada, New York City, Sarasota, and Pittsburgh. I have basic biographical information and a commitment to connect people to others they might find interesting or helpful. In addition to social connection, real business is already happening.
Phase Two: Connect
I am getting heavily into connecting now. If you are a participant, look for outreach from me soon.
Phase Three: Learn
Did it work? What did we learn?
Phase Four: Share
Sharing the outcome and learnings with participants, at thinking.is, and perhaps elsewhere.
Phase Five: Check-in
I will be checking in with the May–June 2013 group in a year, to see where the connections may have taken them. And reporting.
Phase Six: Repeat
Will this be an annual spring adventure? Stay tuned.
Look for more updates here at thinking.is.