I will be the first to admit…a few months ago I did not really “get” Twitter. What was that crazy feed of posts and who were all these people posting? What was with the “#’s” all over the place and why were people so comfortable with the outrageous statement? It all seemed totally crazy to me.
Then, I got hooked. Hooked on the chance to cross all social and geopolitical boundaries to find people with like interests — like the thousands who adore “#CapeCod” many of whom might visit just once, or come only once a year. Hooked on the connections I made with real Cape Codders, twitter moms, foodies, locavores and news junkies who were living their lives in quiet obscurity just like me.
Last month, I decided to cross an invisible boundary and organize a tweetup. A tweetup is an opportunity for people on Twitter to meet each other face-to-face, to turn anonymous social media relationships into real friendships. Since Twitter is populated with early adopters, many of whom (like me!) live for social connections with others, the opportunity to deepen that relationship by putting a face to the funny series of 140 character tweets that you have come to admire is enticing. Add free lobster crostini at Quicks Hole on the first warm Friday in spring, intriguing. Silver Still (fabulous local folk duo) playing on the water-view deck with no cover? Sold!
I will admit that I fretted — will anyone come? I tweeted and tweeted like a veritable red breasted robin in springtime in hopes of getting the word out. I re-tweeted the clever posts of my new found #capecod friends. I created a hashtag to mark my tweets, #wohotweetup, and entered a dialogue with several other twitterers who were committed to coming to the event. I got name tags at Staples, checked on the lobster crostini, double checked the free wifi in the restaurant and then I waited for the party to start.
What a pleasant surprise awaited me. Tweeps from Hyannis mingling with Twerps from Martha’s Vineyard as the sun set over Woods Hole harbor and the Cape Cod draft beer flowed from the tap in pitchers… Incredible. See, despite all the people who pass through here, Woods Hole is not thought of by Cape Codders as a destination. I mean, for people to drive from Centerville or take the ferry back from Martha’s Vineyard for a pitcher of beer and a great sunset…well it is unusual because each of those places has its own incredible decks from which you can enjoy the very same sunset.
There were some highlights. I met Paula @CapeProducer who organizes the annual “Geek Girl Camp” and recently did a great job re-launching the Falmouth Bed and Breakfast Association website. I met Todd and Beth Marcus (@CapeCodBeer), Alecia Lebeda (@AleciaLebeda) the mind behind the magic of FCTV, Jason Peringer, the sassiest massage therapist on Martha’s Vineyard (@MVmassage) and Mike Nunez (@mike_nunez) a cool guy who commutes onto MV.
Tweetup conversation can get a little technical and ahh, OK… geeky. Mike and Alicia had a long conversation about bar code scanners and then mixed it up a little as they compete against each other as the “Mayor” of the Bourne Bridge on FourSquare. These are advanced topics. If you don’t know what I am talking about, don’t worry, you will soon enough. I am just glad I got to be there to witness all the fun. Thanks to the crew at Quicks Hole for making it happen and giving us such a great spot to hang out. Comments below encouraged — if you give me your twitter name you will get a personal invitation from me for the next one… And if you are coming to the Woods Hole Inn on a Friday afternoon, look forward to more hangouts at Quicks Hole all summer long.