Flying High in the #YYJ
View through Fairfield to the Olympic Range, WA
G. Cornwall, c. 2011
During the past week, I attended Social Media Camp in beautiful Victoria, BC. It was two and a half days of intense learning and interaction with friends and colleagues on the topic of social media.
This was my second year in attendance and a significantly different experience than that of my first year in which I only knew 2 or 3 people at the camp and I was very new to Twitter. As a result, during my first year, I spent a good portion of the conference on my own, with mild anxiety and shades of elementary school isolation as I sat outside, eating my bag lunch alone in a crowd, hoping the cool kids would talk to me.
Over the past year, I made efforts to increase meaningful conversations with my local (and distant) Twitter community. I set up and went to coffee 'tweet-ups' with folks I hadn't yet met in person, helped with some fundraising efforts and and community events, attended local chamber of commerce and public relations mixers and reached out where and when I could, sharing content from my blog and interacting with others based on their online content.
This year at Social Media Camp, while I was there as a representative of my workplace, I also had the opportunity to meet many people IRL (in real life) with whom I've had a long Twitter association. Additionally, it was an opportunity to introduce myself to new people with whom I can now continue to interact online.
Before attending this year, I made a promise to myself to find 3 people at camp on the first day who were standing alone and looking lost, engage in conversation, welcome them and introduce them to others. Two of the folks were new to camp and one turned out to be a session speaker! I was happy to help the new folks have a more engaged experience and share with others. I don't like to think of anyone having lunch alone unless that is what they want!
I met many incredible people with great big hearts and minds this year and I am grateful for the opportunity to share experiences with all of you! The most common threads in sessions and conversations throughout the event resounded with human interaction:
- meaningful conversations
- shifting mindset between the one and the all
- kindness as a starting place for all acts
- attention economics - the consideration of others and room for them in your content
- self-awareness and acceptance
This year's camp has helped me to understand my social media 'maturity' level and to learn from my social media elders. It has taught me to listen and to ask. For the friendships and the lessons, I am eternally grateful to each person I meet along my path, each person who shares potential, choices and ideas, all who hold up mirrors when I lose sight of myself, all who hold up lamps to light the way and those who quietly allow me to make my mistakes and learn, holding out a helping hand when I slip and fall.
Thank you. I hope you will grace me with the gift of helping you in kind. Social Media Camp organizers, volunteers, speakers, participants, award nominees and winners, supporters and sponsors - congratulations on an epic success!
See you in the Twitterverse.
-Gillian Cornwall, c. May 12, 2013.
G. Cornwall, c. December 2012.