Triangle Tweetup at Bronto Software. Located in the Tobacco District of Durham, North Carolina, a number of us got together to socialize and learn more about what's happening in the area.
One of the most anticipated moments of the evening was hearing Anil Chawla talk about TweetyMail.If you're not yet using TweetyMail to interact with Twitter friends, I would strongly recommend it.
Along side the product demonstrations, there were workshops, free food, beverages, and plenty of business cards. I saw more familiar faces this time around and that made the night quite enjoyable. However, something was missing.
Maybe the excitement we experienced at last year's event was more intense because it was our first time. I recall walking into Bronto with Danielle Baldwin and looking forward to meeting Wayne Sutton. Both he and I exchanged pleasantries on Twitter well before we finally met at Bronto.
In addition, I met Dr. David Kroll, a professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences at NCCU. Like Wayne, we knew of each other, but never met until that night. Overall, it was a night full of first experiences with social media as the backdrop. To my surprise, it was a world I never knew existed.
Quick story, for years I worked in web development. Most that time was spent alone. Back in Elizabeth City, NC, where I started writing code, I could count the number of people who created web sites on one hand. It seemed anything I learned, I learned through books or articles. Never did I imagine that "Techies" or social media people partied like they did at Bronto. As you can tell, it was life altering.
Over the months that followed, I immersed myself pretty heavily in becoming more social. This included the hosting of two social media/web development conferences (WordCamp RDU & Social Media Business Forum) and I returned to blogging in July of 2009. Alongside that, I attended a number of social media related events and meetups where I became familiar with local names and faces. It definitely has been a good year.
Over dinner last night, my friend Tim Arthur asked me where I see myself going from here, as it relates to web technology and social media. For me, I think it's about deepening relationships with people. If the past year has taught me anything, it is the power of networking. Had it not been for key individuals I met this past year, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Looking ahead, I want to continue my blogging efforts, as that has been invaluable. In addition, I would like to invest more time developing the radio show "Room 3026 Live" and build more community around each of these projects. While not completely social media or technology related, I want to finish my doctoral degree this year. That feat alone will open so many other opportunities.
In closing, I want to thank so many people for believing in and supporting me these past 13 months. The experiences I have had thus far have only enriched my life and I am very excited to see where the next year takes me. Won't you join me on this ride?
Until next time...