Returning to North Carolina USA in the late 2000s after leaving for a decade, as well as having no idea of what I was going to do, I needed to network.
Obviously I got on twitter. Which, at the time, was my go-to social networking site. I like the chance encounter, and hashtags are a way to discover. Or used to be. I don’t use twitter now, because of algorithms and bad reputation for outing activists who need their identities protected. So yeah. But back then, it was the thing to use, for me.
Yet I realized quickly that people in NC weren’t, it seemed, as hip to twitter as they’d been in Seattle, where I’d just spent six years. So I thought, Hm. Let’s do something about this. Let’s do a tweetup.
And invite the local newsweekly to collaborate.
— INDY Week (@indyweek) August 12, 2011
— Yelp NC Triangle (@YelpNCTriangle) August 2, 2011
After all, I’d been to tweetups. I’d met people there. Lots. Projects started with just a crazy idea and less than 140 characters. Twitter (back then) seemed a good place for bumping into the new, different, and happened-upon. More than 300 people came. That was unexpected, for sure. But the important part was they came from a wide mix of backgrounds. We weren’t there for any other agenda except to connect, in person. And twitter people at that time had a shared quality of being open to someone new just saying, ‘Hey. Meet me at #DurhamTweetup?’ How to bring people together? This being NC, there needed to be food and drinks.
Thanks to @durhamfoodie, food trucks came around to make that happen.
Find links to writeups at this page.
Photo: The Rab