Today I went along to an Nstein seminar entitled, Media Companies: The Most to Gain from Web 3.0. The two speakers were: Seth Grimes, founder of business analytics consulting firm, Alta Plana, and contributing editor of Intelligent Enterprise; and Jean-Michel Texier, CTO of Nstein and expert in semantic analysis.
The meeting was held in Covent Garden, London and I’ll be writing a report in the near future. However, this brief article focusses on something else. I received my invitation to the event through Seth himself after having made contact with him on twitter.com (you can follow Seth at @sethgrimes).
I suppose that I first started frequenting internet forums (or bulletin boards as they were then called) back in 1998/9. The first person that I met in real life, having got to know him on-line was a guy from Sweden called Anders, who happened to be taking a vacation in London. That was some point in 1999 after we had struck up a friendship by forum and e-mail and indeed spoken on the ‘phone. Since getting into climbing in 2004, I have also been a member of a climbing forum and have met (and climbed with) multiple people IRL after striking up an acquaintance on-line. This channel for meeting people has expanded with social media such as Facebook (most of the people I know on Facebook are climbers).
However, I have generally kept personal and professional separate on-line. An accident of history means that twitter.com is essentially a professional outlet for me. Which brings me back to the first referred to in the title. Seth has the somewhat dubious honour of being the first tweep that I have met IRL (not having known them before). It is also somewhat interesting to note that this occurred, more or less to the month, 10 years after my first personal encounter of this sort.
Perhaps this says something about the relative adoption speeds of new technologies and the opportunities that they offer for interaction when considering personal and professional domains. In my case at least, there was a decade “lost” in between the former and the latter. Maybe I should be thinking about making up for lost time.