I attended a conference last weekend where there were a number of people who I know online. I’ve been on various private forums with them. We are connected on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin. I get updates about slices of their lives on a regular basis. I feel like I know them.
What I learned from being face to face
There is another level of connection that only comes from being together. At least for me. It’s not that I don’t feel connection to those I only know online, I do, but there is nothing like standing together in the same space.
I think it’s about warmth. And the little details you pick up about who they are that they’d never think of mentioning online. I also realized these people are not just smart, they are brilliant in what they do.
This is the Sugar Queen. You can totally transform her tough girl exterior by feeding her sugar. It’s like a super softening agent.
After eating this giant piece of cake, she wanted to go to Voodoo Doughnut. It was the one place she HAD to go in Portland. But really, she had a mission. She wanted a picture of a Voodoo Doughnut to illustrate a point about something on her blog.
She’s been operating bricks and mortar small business for years. She sees all the small details in everything, and reorganizes them almost instantly. Then she leaps over to how it can become a marketing lesson that can be applied widely. Check out her Red.Hot.Momentum site
No kidding. Watching her do this while just walking through life was pretty amazing. She embodies her brand.
I know Cate from several places, and she has been a VisualsSpeak customer for years. We even taught an online class together. I met her briefly at a coffee shop a couple of months ago. So it was great to see her for a couple of days.
First she’s adorable. She has a pixie like energy about her. But don’t let that fool you, this is one smart woman. After you know her for a while she might causally mention something about her dissertation. So, yes, she is Dr. Cate.
She really knows her stuff about helping people navigate cross-cultural transitions. Get her talking about it, and she opens the door onto a world that deals in story and identity, and how travel changes us. But only if we have a way to make sense of it, and to integrate it in a constructive manner. Otherwise, it can just reinforce stereotypes, and shift blame to the other.
She runs online classes, does consulting, and coaching from her online home, Small Planet Studio.
Jenn is another long time VisualsSpeak customer, who I had not met face to face. She has an awesome newsletter where she finds interesting articles related to heath. Sometimes it’s fitness, sometimes food, but it’s always helpful and not what you see everywhere else.
Jenn has a bouncy kind of fun energy, which is a good thing since her thing is to get us up and moving. She especially wants to inspire those of us she calls Keyboard Athletes. As one who spends way too much time in front of the computer, I have found her simple exercises to be very helpful.
I’ve met Tzaddi before, and I always enjoy the snatches of time I grab with her when she comes to Portland. She’s a fabulous web designer, but one who does the design and the development. One of the things I’ve come to really appreciate about her is she sees good design and interesting details all around her. I love walking around with her, not so much shopping, but discovering things to see.
Tzaddi develops WordPress sites for people who are ready for a custom design at Thrivewire. She has a passion for working with entrepreneurs, but recognizes that people who are just starting out need good design too, so she developed Startup Superhero to provide a simpler more affordable option.
Although not enough, I loved spending time with each of you
This just reminded me once again, that even when it feels like I am connected through social media and the web, it doesn’t replace face to face. Each time I have the opportunity to see someone, I learn new things about them, see them more fully, and appreciate them ever more.