When I was in college, I had a friend who would come into rooms where I and other people would be sitting. He would look around, pause a moment, and say, “Is there anyone interesting around?”
I have had flashbacks of that routine this week, though it’s a bit different this time around. A lot of people are going to the big Blog World Expo. By “a lot of people,” I mean most of the big heads, most of my Twitter stream, and perhaps, most of the world. I am okay with this.
What’s interesting is that more than 1 person has said, on various sites, “Man, I’m not sure there’s a point in posting right now since all of the “cool kids” are at Blog World.” Or, alternatively, “Oh, now that all of the cool people are at Blog World, I can get to know lesser-known people.”
It’s kind of funny. I’m reading a lot of posts about how egomaniacal some of the big hitters are in Social Media. “Oh, they like, totally think they should get paid for their work, and then they like, get mad when I flame their blog posts.” Well, while these are, I’m sure, grievous concerns, are we not perhaps feeding the fire? Are we not ringing Pavlov’s bell and saying, “Hey influencers, be your egotistical worst?”
If you are on Twitter because you are hoping to get retweeted by a bunch of big names all in five minutes, then I’m not really sure you’re quite “getting” what Social Media could really offer you. Now, understand, I’m not saying that the “cool kids” who might or might not be at BWE aren’t deserving of being called cool. There are some awfully cool cats in that crowd. But, I mean, a lot of them have hundreds of thousands of followers and followees. If you are dedicating all of your time and energy to getting on their A+ list, I can’t imagine you’re having much fun.
So, since I’m being pigeon-holed (with the use of very large and broad brush strokes) as a little orphan Annie when it comes to the Social Media world, let me tell you what I enjoy whether or not the “cool kids” are around (you can feel sorry for me at any moment).
1. I love meeting people who are just starting on their Social Media journey. Over the last week, for example, I have gotten to know @gagasgarden. She’s great because she wants to learn, and in trying to help her out, it also makes me realize that once you do Twitter for awhile, there can be a lot that you take for granted. I think that’s really important when it comes to Social Media growth.
2. I love talking to the many new friends I’ve met on Twitter. It’s not a day unless I get a hi from Maya and Suzanne, some funny quip from Cristian, and many waves hello from great people like @myagenda, @RockinRobynC, @DWesterberg, and many others.
3. I love learning from people who are carving out their own niche in this crazy world. Folks like Stan and Lisa Petrilli and Tristan Bishop are always showing me new ways to look at things, new ways to approach obstacles in business and in Social Media. I think it’s great to be driving down the freeway and get to wave at other people who are going in the same direction but in different cars.
Man, what a poor, deprived person I am.
Talking to successful people who have a lot of power in this space is great, and obviously they have a lot to teach newcomers like me. But I would just like to put out there that Social Media can be extraordinarily rewarding, personally and business-wise, if you actually try to carve out your own network, build your own community, and get to know your own people. Indeed, if you are here for business and you think you’ll make it big by pitching every single heavy hitter in the industry, you’ve got a world of hurt coming your way. Unless I’m wrong and your idea is outrageously fantastic and mind-blowing.
Well, I could be wrong. I mean, I’m not a “cool kid.” Right? It’s ok. I’m quite happy right where I am.