Why Face to Face Always Wins

Gia LyonsI love social media.

I eat it up. I’m certainly no expert (who is, really?), but I believe in it’s awesome power. It’s power to connect. It’s power to respond. It’s power to build and maintain relationships. However, as powerful as social media is there is absolutely nothing that beats *face to face.

*This post was originally titled “Why In Real Life (IRL) Always Wins.” My “real” twitter friend @SonyaJMills convinced me why face to face is the better phrase.

Social Fresh

I recently returned from the inaugural Social Fresh, founded by Jason Keath, and held in Charlotte, NC. Social Fresh was a one-day event that attempted to answer the question, “What does it take to really allow your company to excel on the Social Web?”. The question was answered and then some. It was a truly amazing event with over 200 in attendance. Personally, I learned a ton. However, as alluded to by the title and intro of this post, the real value came in the networking – the face time. In 12+ hours, I met some absolutely incredibly smart, talented, fun (and funny) individuals. People who were all about sharing and collaborating. People who craved new knowledge and new ways to think about issues.

Face To Face

To make a semi-long strong short, I was fortunate enough to meet scores of the 200+ attendees. Some were people I had been following on Twitter but had never met face to face (Jason Peck, Olivier Blanchard, David Armano, Jason Keath, etc). Others, like Gia Lyons – pictured above & in video below – I had not even heard of until the day of the event. That all changed very quickly. I learned long ago that if you really want to meet someone, you have to take the initiative. Walk right up to them. Extend your hand. Introduce yourself. And – most importantly, be yourself. I did this with all of the individuals list above (and more) and was greeted warmly by each and every one of them.


Back to Gia. I chatted with Gia a bit immediately before and just after her presentation (view presentation on Slideshare). I asked her if she would not mind being on camera for 2 minutes. She gladly agreed. I tracked Gia down at the happy hour event later that evening. 3 quotes stuck out in my mind:

Campaigns vs. Movements

Email is not dead.

It’s all about the face to face. There will be nothing ever that replaces face-to-face.

To see the entire interview, view the Blip.TV (my first one) or YouTube video.

Have you identified those individuals who you plan to meet face-to-face? When will this meeting happen? Where? Create your plan to make it happen today.

DJ Waldow

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

@Ricardo: First off, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. It means a ton to me. I LOVE your ideas, especially the one about the luncheons. Where can I learn more about that?

DJ [email protected]

.-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..Does Language Matter? =-.

Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno

I have a "People to Meet" list on Facebook :-)

I'm in complete agreement with you that there's nothing quite as impacting as having the opportunity to meet someone face-to-face. We spend all this time connecting with people online and well, we should be working just as hard to find opportunities to connect with those people offline. On Twitter, I'm a big fan of scheduling and attending tweetups. On Facebook, I organize my own luncheon once a month (we're up to ~20 in attendance each time). It's very, very empowering to connect with those folks offline each and every time!
.-= Ricardo Bueno´s last blog ..7 Online Networking Mistakes to Avoid =-.

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

Sarah -

Thanks for your comment. I am very happy that you and I also met face to face...even if you are an App Stater (ha ha). As far as initiative, I think this is a tough one for folks that are not extroverts. It can be kinda scary to walk up to someone and say hi (think: being single, meeting at a bar, etc). Often, I think people are intimidated by people who are "famous" (quotes intentional). If we take a minute to remember that they are just people...just like you and I...it becomes a bit easier to approach.

Don't you think?

Looking forward to when we connect again...

DJ [email protected]

Real Life Sarah
Real Life Sarah

You really hit the nail on the head here. Meeting Face to face is so important. I had been doing the "blog" thing for a while, but I really didn't get that jump start until I began to go to events like these and actually meet folks, have fun, laugh with them. And the best ideas for projects have come over lunch or dinner or shooting the breeze in the lobby.

I love where you said, "if you really want to meet someone, you have to take the initiative. Walk right up to them. Extend your hand. Introduce yourself. And – most importantly, be yourself." I came to Social Fresh knowing no one, really, except Jason (whom I met face to face in Chicago), and I had so much fun talking with people there after I took the plunge and just introduced myself.
.-= Real Life Sarah´s last blog ..Your Life, Your Blog 8/31/09 =-.