I just realized while chatting with someone today that it has been one year this month since I ventured into the strange and unique land of Twitter. I remember hearing about this new “something” with the silly name but really had no clue what to expect when I timidly sent out my first “Hello World” tweet. 2415 tweets later and I’m wondering what I ever did before this new way of communicating and networking came along.
Over the course of the past year, I have met some really wonderful people online and off. My first “Tweetup” was organized by Eva Abreu @Eva_Abreu (who else, she’s the queen of the Tweetup) and it is where I met Scott Bradley (@scottbradley) who later became my Social Media workshop partner.
Twitter also enabled the connection I now have with The Food Channel.com who saw my tweet about attending the Martha Stewart blogging show in October of ’08 and asked me to write a guest blog post about my experience. My second guest blog post for them will be posted this week.
The next “Tweetup” I attended was hosted at Blue Claws Stadium and organized by Josh Feinberg (@blueclaws). This is where I met my new friend and fellow jersey girl, Amber (@JerseyShoreDiva) who I quickly recruited to help work on the Jersey Shore Restaurant Week committee (@JSRWeek). Mike, the gentleman in the baseball cap, I just met that evening. I happened to run into him at another offline networking event just a few weeks ago.
A very entertaining new friend of mine on Twitter @Sweetsoaps organized a lunch Tweetup at her home in June (daring girl) where I met several other fantastic lady tweeps including @GeriRosman, @MrsMoNJ @suekleiner and @ruthanndisotell.
One of my big Twitter thrills was when @CoryBooker (Mr. Mayor that is) replied to one of my Tweets after he had taken a look at Jersey Bites and wanted to complement me on my Jersey centric theme. I asked him for his recommendations for restaurants in Newark and after 5 DM’s from him with recommends, I asked if he’d like to do a culinary tour of Newark for Jersey Bites. He said Yes!! We have yet to designate a day. I’m hoping for the fall.
So many “experts” are debating the staying power of Twitter. Is it just a fad or is it here to stay? I don’t think we need to worry so much about the tools we use to network online. Twitter may be replaced by the next best thing, but social networking online is definitely here to stay. The rewards are obvious to anyone who actively uses them to make connections. I happen to love Twitter and I hope it sticks around for a long, long time; it’s quick, its easy, no bells and whistles getting in the way of simple communication. If it doesn’t then I’ll be on to learning the next tool and looking forward to new friends and new experiences.
One final note: there are so many more Tweeps who for lack of space (and reader attention span) I just couldn’t mention here but have been wonderful to me throughout the year, supporting me through my dog vs. car tragedy and all of my ups and downs. A huge thank you to all. You are my cheering squad and my shoulder to lean on and I appreciate every one of you. And, (this is what the folks who auto follow and auto post don’t get) real people is what social networking is all about.