Consulting, Publishing, Engineering

Twitter, tweetups, and Tech Tuesday

I’ve been on Twitter (@bphuettner) for a couple of years now, and find it more useful than ever. I can get quick answers when I run into troubles, I can virtually follow conferences and other events that I can’t attend in person, and I can keep in touch with friends and family no matter where we all are. But my favorite use for Twitter is to enable in-person gatherings of on-line contacts. For example, when I’m at the Intelligent Content conference or the STC Summit, I’ll be able to tweet with my friends/followers about where to meet for breakfast, or which sessions I’m attending, or whether or not we should stop for a drink at the hotel bar. I don’t need to send multiple text messages – heck, I don’t even need to know their cell phone numbers! It’s quick and easy. Once, I was stuck in an airport for TWELVE HOURS, and because I tweeted the situation, a friend who was flying out of that airport later in the day came early and sat with me for 6 of those hours. It was lovely!

I also like to use Twitter here in Tucson, such as for the TechTuesday gatherings. This is a very informal meeting of techie types who stop by over at Avenue Coffee anytime between 8 and 9:30 or so on Tuesday mornings. No agenda, just casual chats between lots of people, some I know and some I’m just meeting. I’m not really much of a morning person, and to be honest, it takes until about 10am to realize what day it is. HOWEVER, people I follow will usually tweet about heading out to this event (using the code #techtuesday) and that’s enough to jog my memory. I’ve actually been over there twice since Christmas!

And of course, there are more formal (though still fun/casual) “tweetups” where someone will post an actual invitation to meet at a specific time/place. I can check the RSVPs to see who’s going and who has declined. These are fun too, though I don’t get out to them as often as I’d like.

So, yes, I’m on Twitter a lot. But Twitter does not replace my social life, it actually enhances my ability to make real connections with real people. I love it!

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