Today was the photo shoot for my space at Designer Spaces & Market Places in Hartford, the interior design event which opens Thursday evening. There's an interesting social media back story to how I ended up spending the day with a fabulous photographer I had never met.
Way back in June, the savvy Suzi Craig over at Fathom had a, not really a come-to-Jesus talk, rather a come-to-the-new-gods-of-social-media talk with me. She stressed the importance of connecting to people in the online world, and I insisted that Twitter was simply not a place for me. It seemed ridiculous to think the Twitter experience could apply to me and my business. I have neither time nor interest in the meals and minutiae of strangers - and that was my perception of Twitter.
If you know Suzi, you know how persuasive she can be, and before I knew it, I had a Twitter handle (@exuberanthome) and was dipping my toes into the twirling maelstrom that is Twitter. In short order, I was following and had acquired followers. To my surprise the vast majority of these people are interesting. And informative. And connected to others like themselves. Suddenly I'm actually IN a world-wide web of fun, creative people.
Apologies for the long-winded tale, but here's another interconnected aside. Last Thursday, I attended an AIGA Breakfast Epiphany, hosted by the same Suzi Craig, where I met some seriously cool people. The discussion of social media touched an interesting question: is your online voice your authentic self, or do you portray someone else? As a person who barely has time to have one online voice, I can't imagine having the energy to think up and consistently apply some other persona to my online interactions. WYSIWYG with me. But the question of authenticity struck a chord.
Of the people I have "met" on Twitter, some really resonate with me, I think, mostly because I believe their voice is authentic. I read their tweets and their blog posts and their nature shines through. It feels uncontrived. And so I tweeted in August asking "do you know a good, local interiors photographer?" I received a reply from someone whose online voice is so genuine — Amy Dragoo at ABCD Designs. Because I believe in her authenticity, I believed her recommendation would be worthwhile. Does that make me naïve or overly trusting, or simply fulfill the adage that nice people have nice friends?
I have never met Amy, but she referred me to Michael Partenio, someone she has never met, because she is connected to Stacy Kunstel who is connected to Michael. So if you're still with me — the intersection of four people who have never met in the real world resulted in me having a photo shoot with a terrific photographer — taking pictures of a space titled "Wall Posts". A space designed around the concept of communication and the noise which surrounds us all from places like Twitter and Facebook.
The moral of this circular Twitter tale: despite the noise, there are real, meaningful connections to be made via social media. When you get there — look me up @exuberanthome.