Earlier, I saw a tweet about attending Social Media Club Atlanta from Blake Canterbury, from beremedy.org, a really cool initiative that uses social media to meet needs all over Atlanta, whether it’s a pair of shoes, or boxes of diapers. I think it’s a fascinating new thing, and seeing that he’d be speaking on the panel, and I had nothing tonight on my calendar, I committed to going. I glanced at the attendee list on Eventbrite, and saw several names I recognized, so I thought it wouldn’t be that awkward.
I don’t know if you’ve been to one of these kinda things. I’ve not been to any of them, because, well, I just don’t get out to do these social events, and two, I’m not great at working a room and meeting lots of new people. It’s a little known secret, but I’m incredibly shy, especially in a room with lots of people. It’s kinda weird, I know lots of the movers and shakers of social media in Atlanta. I get grouped into those folks from time to time, and even get asked a lot about how I’ve been successful with social media. I’ve had great social media folks write blogposts about me, and how I’ve used social media. And yet, I don’t attend the greater social media functions, and I don’t attend the labs (well, I’ve attended maybe one or two).
So, tonight when I walked into the room, and realized none of the folks I knew were there, and I was in a room full of new people, all engaged in conversations with each other, I was a fish out of water. I have to say, it was a little weird feeling. I got my beer, walked over to a table, pulled out my iPhone, to check my email, and a gentleman chatted up, asked what I was doing. Turns out, he’s a huge fan of Batdorf & Bronson, knew everything about our coffees, and loved what we did. As I was talking to him, another gentleman came up who recognized me. I’ve met tons of people through all the Coffee 101s and other classes I’ve done, and that’s exactly where I met him, at a Coffee 101 I led at The Mercantile, a customer of ours. And then, another friend came up to chat. She does lots of work in social media, and I’ve seen her several times, super cool gal who owns her own social media company.
Before I knew it, the panel started up, and it was neat to hear how multiple folks had used social media for. There was the head of the CDC’s social media team, social media guy from Georgia Organics, and others. But, it was still weird for me. I’m hugely active in social media. I think I know a good bit about it, have learned the right way to use it, and have learned the hard ways how not to use it. And to be honest, it’s something you have to work on everyday, but I guess I’m just too shy to attend these sorts of events. I’m just not a cocktail party/mixer kinda guy. So, I guess the point of this is just that I’m really shy, despite being so active in social media, in something so very public and out there. I kinda forget how shy I am, until I’m in a situation like tonight. I think I’ll work on that this year.