I had a conversation today with a guy I don't really know. It started because he decided to follow me on Twitter. Why? I'm not even sure. Likely, he saw someone else reference me in a tweet, then checked out my Twitter profile page, and decided I was worth the add. When someone follows me I almost always follow them back, unless they seem to be clearly just using the application to promote a blog or a product. (If this is utter gibberish to you, please check out this fabulous post.) From there we ended up as friends on Facebook, and there a conversation ensued on our walls:
me: and thanks for your follow on Twitter. I think I've passed the tipping point; suddenly getting followers w/o even trying. Social Networking 2.0 RAWKS.
David: It's sorta like when I started a business many years ago. I still remember the day that "the phone started ringing." Same is true about SN saturation points - its amazing when you start making new connections without effort, and even better when those connections want to do business and / or provide value to what you're doing. Looking forward to knowing you better.
me: Very true, David. I love that I'm making friends in far off places, participating in fascinating conversations, and developing relationships that could lead to further opportunities -- but truly, I put that at the end of the list for a reason. It all works better if we focus on friendships/relationships/conversations first, before personal gain.
Two days ago I was stuck at around 90 followers. I sent out a request for people to send me some followers and by the end of the day I had broken 100. That was the tipping point I referred to above. Today, without trying I'm up above 120. That's 20 followers in 2 days which, to many of you reading this post, is probably just par for the course, but for me it's a veritable flood of new readers. With new readers on Twitter come new readers on Utterz, new people looking at my photos on Flickr, new people watching my updates on Seesmic...and I return the favor, if so inclined, and on and on it goes.
SXSWi kicks off tomorrow. I'm too poor (and cheap, and busy) to get a badge, but there's plenty of ways to participate in the conversation without attending a single panel. Today I got to have lunch with someone I know from Twitter, and two more Twitterers she flew into town with, one of whom happened to represent Utterz, the other being Clarence of Do You Know Clarence (I didn't, but now I do). A good time was had by all, the Cuban sandwiches were superb, and I now have two more people to connect with and follow, and vice versa.
Now listen, it's no secret that I'm looking for work, and that networking isn't just for shits and giggles. Truth is we all have motivations that extend beyond friendship and community building when we network in this manner. But the point is I really wasn't blowing smoke up David's ass when I said that my desire for work (and by work I mean money, and by money I mean the RENT PAYMENT) still is overshadowed by the sheer enjoyment of connecting with people, learning new things, supporting each other in good times and bad, and sometimes even sitting down at a real life table and chowing down on tostones rellenos (plantains stuffed with ground beef and peppers). It's going to be a fun weekend.
p.s. I am EXHAUSTED, EXHAUSTED from all the linking. I hope someone clicks through at least.