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Complement your social media presence with in-person contact

April 12, 2010
Photo of a solid handshake

Source: Richard.Asia's Flickr page

One aspect of social media that I often notice goes unmentioned is the good-old-fashioned handshake. Amid all the talk of how to optimize Facebook and Twitter pages and keep in touch through comment threads, a phrase I rarely see is …in addition to meeting up in person. Maybe for a lot of us that aspect of social media is just assumed, but I’m not sure the uninitiated know we assume that.

Ed Walker dropped a comment on one of my recent posts, saying: “Never forget the importance of a pint down [at] the pub with a contact….” Well said, Ed.

I can’t say that I’ve ever explicitly heard it, but I’ve definitely felt the attitude from some of my older-school journalism colleagues that Isn’t all this new media crap just a bunch of nerds in their mothers’ basements? It’s not hard to see where that comes from, either: It’s way easier to be social when you’re not actually in a room full of people. But where new media journalism is concerned (and let’s face it: successful social media in general), you need to complement what you’re doing online with genuine human contact. There’s just something about meeting face-to-face that makes an acquaintance…official.

If you’re the nervous type, you should take Chris Brogan’s advice on getting over it. If you’re wondering how to take your social media persona into the analog world, look at what Mónica Guzmán has done with her weekly reader meet-ups.

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