This last week really brought home to me the reality the world of social networks and the 'real' offline world merging. I am sure you have all made relationships via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, then taken them offline, for a more meaningful business relationship - I certainly have. But last week, this went to a whole new level for me - and it was very surreal!
Sara (my lovely wife) and I went to New York last week for a well deserved holiday. After realising that she was going to be in NY at the same time at an HR conference, the lovely Trish McFarlane (who we had previously met at TruLondon) messaged us and said that we should meet up during the week. Fantastic idea!
So after some arrangement, we went to meet Trish and 'a couple of others' in a great restaurant called Schiller's (truly superb burgers there by the way!) in SoHo, on Manhattan. We turned up to find a table full of people, including two people I have been communicating with via blogs and Twitter for a while- Omowale Casselle and William Tincup . >> 1st surreal moment - transatlantic social media comes face to face!
Then factor in the others at the table - Maureen Landers, Machie Madden and Mark Birch (and some excellent local beer), and it was a really fun start to the evening.
After some excellent food and beer, William tells us that Victorio Milian had just started a new job in Times Square and that we should go and say hello, as he was working late. Again, Victorio is someone I have been having online conversations for a while, so it was a great idea. So we all jumped on the subway and headed uptown to Times Square. >> Now for surreal moment no.2
Trish, being an obvious expert, then decided to do some pole dancing on the subway train travelling uptown! I am still smiling just thinking about it!
Then we head for the final part of our New York evening, that tips the scales of surreality!
Victorio has just started as the Head of HR at the new flagship Disney store on Times Square (which is open until 1am by the way!). We all trot up the stairs and collar one of the cast members to ask about seeing Vicorio. To say she was a little bemused with this request is probably an understatement!
Then Victorio arrives - obviously a little confused at first, seeing a group of people (two of which he knew) waiting for him. Introductions were quick - after all we all 'knew' each other from Twitter and our blogs!
Enter the 3rd surreal moment of this fab evening - There we all are standing in the sales floor of the Disney Flagship Store in Times Square at 10.30pm having a conversation about his new role in Disney, ATS (or lack of one), recruitment in Times Square and Disney in general! >>> see what I mean about this being a really surreal story?
**I must just add a quick note about the young lady crew member who for the whole time we were there was providing myself and Omowale with great amusement, with her new 'best friend' the new Rapunzel Doll - it was very freaky, funny and slightly worrying all at the same time!!**
So, online social media moved into the real world for us in New York last week. This was a great evening and one that will, I am sure, be repeated many times over as more people cross the line, into the 'real world' from their online avatars and personas.
So there you have it, our story of our spontaneous social media gathering in New York last week.
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