If you don’t already know, Twitter is a quick way of broadcasting a 140 character message to your friends and others via text message, IM, or computer. Most of the time this is fine, but sometimes you’d like to meet the people you talk to in person, either for professional reasons, or just because you’d like to get to know them better.
Tweetups are in person meetings for Twitter users. They give you a chance to meet the people you interact with on a daily basis, connecting, sharing and collaborating with people that share your interests.
I started going to Orange County tweetups in Summer 2009. I was immediately hooked. At the time I didn’t realize it but these meetups would leave a lasting impression on my psyche. I promised myself that next summer, I would try and go to as many tweetups as possible.
You are probably asking yourself why.
When I started going to tweetups it was to come out of my shell. Being stuck in a college setting didn’t offer a real world view of what was waiting for me outside the institutional walls. For me interacting with people from different industries gave me a chance to see the economy through the eyes of someone who, say, has been working in that industry for 20 years, gaining their firsthand knowledge and experience. It was as if though I had 100s of mentors willing and ready to share their thoughts and ideas of everything from the economy to how to conduct business in the Social Media space, and how to interact with technology on a personal and business level.
The one thing we often forget in the Social Media space is the human element. For instance, if you use Twitter you have already noticed that when you tweet with people you’ve met their tweets come alive; you imagine how they would say them out loud, and their facial expressions as they say them. This becomes a force you cannot ignore, giving that tweet extra power and meaning. Well, whatever you are trying to do in the Social Media space, the people you meet at these events make your online persona come alive. Your persona and your influence now have meaning, but most importantly, you have greater meaning.
While Twitter has always been one vessel of communication, it has never been a major force in communication. It leads to phone conversations, emails and face to face interaction. Tweetups facilitate a higher level of connection, and these connections leave a lasting, meaningful connection.