Something keeps coming up over and over again in my life. I think it is either like a romance or a drug, I am not sure which. I am talking about the concept of meeting a social media acquaintance in real life (IRL) for the first time. It was the topic for last weeks #Tchat. I personally have had this experience a number of times and without a doubt it is exhilarating. I think this concept is helping drive attendance at conferences and other live events. We all enjoy the Face to Face (F2F) experience.
People are making friends on-line and then we want to meet them IRL. I am going to throw out two new terms I think that should be introduced into our shortcut/abbreviated language.
HMIRL (Have met in real life) HNMIRL (Have NOT met in real life)
So for 2012 I am planning on attending a few events: SHRM National, ILSHRM and HREvolution for sure. As for any other events, they will be subject to budget and time constraints. I would love to do more, I will just have to wait and see.
However, I have my own little meet and greet that I am really looking forward to and am going to share with the blogosphere. I can not actually tell you the date, but I have been friends on-line with a guy named Chris Fields for a while. You may know him a new_resource on twitter, or from his blog site Cost of Work. I was one of Chris’s first followers on twitter. He tends to remember this and looks upon me, with perhaps a little more reverence than I might be deserving of. Chris lives in Memphis, TN and does my oldest son. My wife and youngest son are making a journey to Memphis for Easter this year, and while I have been there a couple times since Chris and I became on-line friends, this trip will be different. We already have our lunch plans lined up and are going to meet IRL.
I am going have my youngest son who is a film and cinema student at SIU-C shoot some video of our meeting. The two social media acquaintances meeting face to face for the first time. I will post this, as I too want to look at this and study it. This whole phenomena fascinates me, people really enjoy this experience and I want to re-live the experience. Maybe I can even get Dan Crosby to analyse the event.
I am also really looking forward to deepening an already great friendship. See you on April 7th Chris – smile for the camera!