This blog has been silent. I cite three reasons: the holidays, launching a new IM service at my library, and I have been saying what I needed to say on Twitter. Recently, though, something happened that needs a longer explanation. I am always amazed by the incredible impact of making connections. Here is my Twitter story...
I had just left an awesome manager's meeting where we celebrated all the success of 2008 and got excited about all the possibility in 2009. I went back to my office and sent out a tweet about the meeting. I instantly received a direct message on Twitter from Faye Thompson that said, "Are you @ CML downtown? There is a tweet-up going on in the 3rd floor Board Room right now - coworking session/collaboration." That was an invite I would not pass up.
I headed up to the Board Room to meet the nicest people who were part of a group called cbusjelly. What is a Jelly you ask? (Don't worry. I didn't know either.) A Jelly is a co-working group.
I introduced myself. They asked me about the library projects I had tweeted about. I got to brag on the library, but they didn't need any convincing. This group was well versed in the resources of the library, and they were using them. They all had their laptops and were using the wireless connection. They were reserving books online. They were job searching. They were using the library space to network and collaborate. I was impressed and grateful to connect with other people living and working in my city. The bonus was they were library customers too.
I knew I had a captive audience. One of my projects for 2009 is to deliver Web 2.0 training. What that means hasn't really been completely defined. I threw it out there. "If you didn't already know how to use these tools, what would you want from the library to help you to learn?" They had great insight about what, how and why. As a project manager, I never want to think I know it all about what a project should be. If I'm not asking my customer, I am missing a valuable piece. Sure, there are formal ways to collect that data, but I have to tell you...this conversation just energized me, because it was a real connection.
I have continued to connect with more people in Columbus linking from those I have already met and discovering this larger community called Columbus Tech Life. I look forward to attending an event and meeting some of these people in person too. In the meantime, I'm getting to know them on Twitter, making virtual connections and building my network. Now you understand why my recent Facebook status said, "I am basking in the joy of Twitter."