I know that I am going to post too much about the #140conf small town. Afterall, I have already posted on it multiple times (accepted to speak, pumped about it coming soon, the cool space night….) and there will be more. But I wanted to explain why I am so excited over something like this that I would have multiple posts on the topic. And the reason is really simple. Its the people that provide such an amazing experience. These people were in many cases good friends through social media, but you feel truly connected to these people because you share your story, some of the deep-seated feelings, hopes & dreams.
To people who don’t actively engage on social media, that may sound nuts but the reality for me is I met a bunch of friends I’ve chatted with for two years or more. I also met friends I hadn’t crossed in social media before. So some of the folks I met who really rocked my day (and my social media world before, during and after the 140 Conf Small Town) are featured below — I encourage you to get to know them. It will definitely be enjoyable! And I know I’ll be missing some folks…. some truly incredible folks. But I’m beginning to think I’ll never get this out if I don’t stop myself now. (Besides, I can always add to and supplement cause the event doesn’t have to stop.)
I’ve talked about Val several times on Facebook and have had the chance to meet up with her quite a few times (Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, St. Louis and now Kansas). We’ve shared some of her triumphs with her blog (totally rocks) and we shared her son’s illness. Hanging out for coffee/tea without any demands for even a short time was truly a gift. One day we’ll get to just hang out in one of our homes.
This one…. Katie. She’s a handful. And we all enjoy it fully. We both spend lots of time on the road with detailed schedules to keep us on our toes. Arriving in Kansas a few hours before we had to be somewhere meant there was fun to be had. And when we got to a place where we could help people understand why we do what we do, the switch was flipped and the smiles were accompanied with messages of what was important to us. Priceless.
When Kevin Honeycutt explained how he felt the first time he was in the front of an audience, ready to go with his laptop and other tech things, so he could interract with the speaker and was told that everyone should turn off their cell phone, I knew that would come to mind again. Happened this week! So disappointing to be assumed to be goofing off when you are capable of spreading the message much further.
- My girl Kim Ray Baldwin (@KimRay02 and http://aliveandwellinkansas.wordpress.com/) came and brought 13 school kids! I had the chance to say hello to several of them… I think we had the potential to do a couple of things. One, show grownups can be cool and two, spark some enthusiasm. Kim said they were excitedly chattering all the way home after the event! She enjoyed it so much that she drove back for the reception after taking the kids home for volleyball games!
- Mary Klaebel who traveled in from the Memphis metro making her proximity-wise very close to me for years yet we met in Kansas! She’s @mklaebel and blogs at www.divorcelawyersfriend.com
- Mark Vierthaler who is a fellow agnerd but also is @AgHipster and contributes to the social media world through servitechinc.blogspot.com
- Deb Brown who is also known as @debworks and blogs at debworks.com who hosted a 140conf local event in Des Moines, Iowa that I still wish I had gotten to.
- Cody Heitschmidt who I’ve enjoyed chatting with for a long time under his @codyks handle and read some of his posts on www.codytalks.com. Cody is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and always has a friendly word and is already ready to help you smile.
- Greg Falken (@GregF who blogs at www.webdancers.com) and Leslie McLellan (aka @LeslieMcLellan of www.justasmalltowngirl.us/blog) get credit for coming from California for the event! And they were the last of the 140 faces I had the chance to spend time with as I stumbled into a quick breakfast with them before we all headed to the airport.