The idea behind socialdipity was really twofold:
1. We are social animals. We thrive on interactions with, and connections between, other people.
2. Social media has allowed us to fulfill this social want or need -- and in some cases, created experiences which otherwise were not possible.
I think back to C.C. Chapman, one of the original podcasting pioneers. His podcast Accident Hash was, according to Wikipedia, “a popular award-winning music podcast that served as a showcase for podsafe music from various genres from around the world.”
C.C. was also one of the original members of my former social media boutique, crayon. And here’s the thing. I hired C.C. without ever having met him IRL (in real life). In fact we negotiated his package in a hovering penthouse in the sky -- in the virtual world of Second Life.
There was nothing virtual, however, about the conversation or friendship. Except when we did enjoy a good glass (or two) of single malt scotch, on numerous occasions.
I had plenty more of these kinds of exchanges, to the point where I thought I would write a book on the phenomenon. I registered www.socialdipity.com and was ready to write -- when life got in the way. Fast-forward to present day -- or, one week before SXSWi, when I got a notice from GoDaddy that this URL was about to expire.
I decided not to renew it.
And then I met Jeremiah Knight.
While still at the gate in Dallas, sitting in 20B on American Airlines flight 1505 to Austin, I heard my name on the PA instructing me to come to the front of the plane. Knowing I was well down the upgrade totem pole. I was surprised to find out that I had in fact been upgraded for the 31-minute flight.
Enjoying my Diet Coke, I logged into Gogo Internet and saw that I had a tweet from @atomiclogic, saying, “@jaffejuice are you on my flight from Dallas? I'd recognize that name on the PA, anywhere. #T1SXSW#SXSW.”
I had never met Jeremiah but assumed (poor lad) that he knew of me.
Over the next 20 minutes or so, we exchanged public tweets, including “Which seat are you in?” and “turn around.” We met at the gate, and Jeremiah offered me a ride into Austin. He also invited me to his agency’s (Team One) party at SXSWi and introduced me to his Lexus clients. If all goes well, I’ll be joining him in L.A. in the coming months to present Z.E.R.O.
This is #socialdipity.
Our lives are filled with these moments of chance meetings, random interactions and virtual connections that are anything but chance, random and/or virtual.
I’ve always argued that relationships forged in the age of conversation are very much real, valuable and meaningful.
I don't believe there are any coincidences in this world. And certainly, in this age of Facebook, Twitter and in particular, FourSquare, unless you are Larry David, who does not subscribe to the “stop and chat,” you might want to embrace the serendipity of bumping into all old friend, colleague or business associate who t happens to be at the same airport in the same city at the same time as you.
I have since renewed www.socialdipity.com, and who knows, the inspiration for my fifth book might be @atomiclogic. If so, expect to be in the acknowledgments!
Do you have stories of #socialdipity? If so, send them to me. If the book ever gets written, you might see them in the physical, digital and/or virtual pages.
Until we tweet again…