For the past 2 days I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Blissdom Conference in Nashville, TN. Alli Worthington and Barbara Jones brought me out here to speak with some wonderful women about technology, blogging, and social media. However, what I found and shared with these women was an experience that started with a connection, but ended with something deeper that you should be reaching for in your online connections.
Disclosure: I hate disclosures and I’m very thankful that the ladies of Blissdom paid for my travel and housing. Sorry, if you feel some sort of way about it. I’m not a millionaire yet.
Starting With A Connection
Technology allows us to make these wonderful connections with people. I’ve been meeting some of those connections in person like Liz Strauss, Jenn Fowler, Lucretia Pruitt, Kelby Carr and Jessica Smith. Wonderful right? The thing about following people on Twitter is that you really feel like you know them. But you don’t. You’ll never know someone from a single tweet. You learn from them, but never about them. You know of them, but you don’t know them.
At Blissdom, I noticed something different about these ladies. It wasn’t clear to me at first. After taking the time to converse, joke, laugh, and brainstorm with these women, I realized that I didn’t know them. Why? Because I’d never seen them smile. I’d never heard them laugh. I didn’t know the depth of their knowledge until I engaged with them.
Definition of “engage”
to occupy the attention or efforts of a person or persons.
I occupied a lot of their attention, but more importantly I tried to make their efforts worthwhile. Twitter can’t capture the experience and brilliance of engaging with these women. There are not enough characters, or time, to truly engage with people online. That doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t worth the effort. If anything, your connections wouldn’t become an engagement if not for Twitter. But these tools are just an introduction.
I have to thank Alli Worthington and Barbara Jones for providing an amazing event and avenue for me to deepen the connections I’ve made.
Are there any differences you’ve noticed when meeting an online connection at an offline event? I’d love to hear what you’ve learned and experienced.