On Thursday 29th April 2010, I took an afternoon of work and took a steady drive to Chelmsford in Essex to attend the Be2Camp East inaugural meeting. Be2Camp’s slogan is “Exploiting web2.0 in the built environment”, so you are probably wondering what an Automotive industry manager, coach, mentor… was doing there; true I have more than a passing interest in social media, blogging etc (web2.0) but I am not a developer, architect, planner etc.
Well let me explain. Back in mid-2009, I attended a series of webinars about social media and thought I’d dust of my LinkedIn account that I’d had for about 4 years, create a Facebook page and have a play with Twitter, not knowing or even thinking at the time what amazing people and opportunities it was going to open up to me.
Around September I made contact with a great bloke called Lee Smallwood via LinkedIn, we got chatting over Twitter and eventually met up for lunch. We got and get on like a house on fire (forgive the property pun). He introduced me to a few people on Twitter, we tweeted; Through those conversations I got to meet more people on Twitter and so the story goes on – a virtuous circle. Now, as with Lee, I have had the pleasure of meeting some of those people in person. One was Roberta Ward, who was one of the organisers of Be2Camp East. That’s how I ended up being in Chelmsford. However, whilst I was there I was able to meet up in person with atleast ten other people who I had only previously talked to on Twitter and I tell you they are all really nice people to know.
Now, that is only one side of the story. Through conversations and introductions, I have met some fantastic people, written guest blogs, identified some opportunities, found some great resources, found some mentors and so the story goes on.
Lee, in his presentation at Be2Camp, said that he would not have been there and it was very unlikely he would have ever met any of the people in the room if it had not been for SoMe (social media) and social networking. By the same measure, neither would I. That is the power of SoMe