Social Media: From Online to Offline

I have been busy, busy, busy this week! Now I’m back working 5 days a week it’s a real change of pace. It’s actually a bit alarming how quickly you get used to enjoying a 4 day weekend… [Note to self: Challenge for the new year is to get Mr J into a top notch job so that I can laze around more and he can keep me in the manner to which I’ve always wanted to become accustomed!] So anyway, my social media play time has fallen by the wayside somewhat and I’ve really missed it. But actually not quite so much as I thought I would, because so many of the people I talk to on social media are now people I talk to in ‘real life’ too!

In the last seven days I’ve spoken to @LisaScales, @AndyHeadworth and @AlanWhitford on the phone and to @RadicalRecruit on Skype. I’ve had dinner with @MervynDinnen and @LaraNewman, and tomorrow I’m meeting @ClareWildman for after work drinkies. Who needs social media, eh?! Not one of these relationships would be in effect without social media. Well, without Twitter, to be precise!

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir here, but social media is really only the beginning. So far I’ve met at least 24 people from my personal Twittersphere, and frankly I need to work harder to increase that number because it’s a bit lame all things considered! Seriously though, there’s only so much you can convey in 140 characters or with the written word and if you truly want your relationships to flourish then you need to take it offline, into the real world and onto the next level. Yes, social media is a fantastic start and, sadly, I may never get to meet a lot of my favourite Tweeps in person due to geographic barriers, so in that respect is still an amazing tool, but even so… There are plenty of people we can and should meet. There are people in all our networks who we’ve never met but who live within a stones throw.

Now obviously you have to be a bit cautious about meeting anyone from off the internet. Though the prospect of being ‘groomed’ at 20-, 30-, 40-something is actually marginally flattering, personal safety comes first! But we’re all adults and we can all use our common sense. There are local tweetups and events happening all the time and this can be a perfect setting for a first meeting, not to mention providing the opportunity to meet a whole host of other people you might not have connected with otherwise!

@LaraNewman was the first person I’d met on Twitter who I met offline. We went ice skating together and had a lovely afternoon! Mr J thought she was probably an axe murderer or, failing that, some sort of swinger who was touting for new recruits. Of course, she was neither of those things (I suspect he was slightly disappointed about the latter!) but we met in a public place and Mr J demanded I leave a report with him listing everything I knew about her, just in case I never returned home. To be honest, I’ve never (yet!) had any doubts about my meetings with people on Twitter. Most people reveal a whole host of information about themselves on both Twitter and LinkedIn and are known by at least one other person in my network, so short of it being a very large and organised axe murdering ring, the odds are good that they’re not a psychopath. I’d be far more reticent to meet anyone who wasn’t pre-vetted though and you do have to use your common sense.

Meeting someone in person can really only benefit a relationship. These are people you regularly talk to anyway and who you already know you have something in common with. So have a flick through some of your favourite social media contacts and see who you can meet for a coffee in person! So long as you’re sensible, the absolute worst that can happen is that you have a miserable hour and have nothing much to say to one another, so you’ve really nothing to lose!


12 Responses to “Social Media: From Online to Offline”

  1. 1 @HRMargo Margo Rose December 6, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    My sweet chicken, once again you’ve written a post that brings a smile to my face. The relationships I’ve built on twitter mean the world to me. I’ve launched my blog, received outstanding career advice, and broadened my horizons with vast amounts of professional development opportunities. Because of twitter, I’ve been able to attend conferences via ustream, and by following live #twitterstreams. In addition, I’ve used twitter for job hunting, and connecting to recruiters from around the world. I’m passionate about twitter, and social media outlets. Twitter is far more engaging and fun than and more professional than facebook. It’s the perfect mix of business and pleasure. You are one of my favorite UK bloggers, and I am so glad we are twitterpals.

    Pickle aka @HRMargo Margo Rose

    • 2 Wendy December 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Margo! Twitter definitely brings people together. And what never ceases to amaze me is how generous and selfless so many people on it are!

      Very excited about your coming to TRULondon2 in Feb! I’ll get to meet you and some of your Amercian colleagues too, which is ever to exciting! 🙂

  2. 3 Peter Gold December 6, 2009 at 11:47 pm


    Well done at starting your blog although you may wish you hadn’t! You are welcome to have a guest post on my blog in the New Year – more details will be made public but do let me know if you would like to be included.


    • 4 Wendy December 10, 2009 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks Peter! I’m not regretting it yet, but ask me in a couple of months… 😉

      I would love to have a guest post on your blog in the new year if you’ll have me! I shall try and think of something suitably entertaining to write!


  3. 5 Dave Martin December 7, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Great post, I totally agree that putting faces or voices to Twitter contacts is a real must.

    PS We have met!

    • 6 Wendy December 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks Dave! It was great meeting you at TRULondon (albeit briefly) and you’re included in the 24 (which has actually turned out to be rather more as I missed some people off! :o) people I’ve met list!

  4. 7 Akiki December 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    It is truly an (un)vicious circle. You meet individuals you have things in common with on twitter let’s say, you get to know them, you meet them in person, they, in turn, open up your network to others on twitter, whom you get to “meet” online, get to know, then meet in person, and on and on it goes. Social Media is not an online phenomenon, it is also taking place offline.
    Great post Wendy!
    Maha Akiki

    • 8 Wendy December 10, 2009 at 9:55 pm

      You’re so right, Maha! I just can’t see any downsides to it. It’s wonderful to find out more about people and to take those friendships and relationships further!

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Social Media: From Online to Offline « Wendy the Recruiter -- Trackback on December 6, 2009 at 10:10 pm
  2. 2 uberVU - social comments Trackback on December 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm
  3. 3 Twitted by MervynDinnen Trackback on December 14, 2009 at 9:21 am
  4. 4 A Weekend of Underground Restaurants « Wendy the Recruiter Trackback on March 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm
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Over ten years’ recruitment, employability, HR and sales experience in both the private and public sectors. I've worked in construction recruitment, FMCG headhunting, and in higher education on the employability agenda.

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