#TBT – Putting the Social into Social Networking

Today’s #throwbackthursday post takes us back to 2010 and the second twitter meetup, or tweetup as they were called back then, that Johanna Basford and I ran in Aberdeen. She’s done alright since then!

On Thursday night a random group of folks descended on the funky venue that is Musa in Aberdeen’s re-styled Merchants Quarter. What was once the arse-end of town had re-invented itself, and was now hosting a new phenomenon, #themeet140.

The brain-child of @markofespect and @chris_hall1, themeet140 is an open invitation for folks on Twitter to get together for drinks, food & chat in a relaxed environment. Events have now run in London, Glasgow, Cambridge, and Aberdeen. Thursday saw themeet140 return to Aberdeen as an event in its’ own right this time, having shared the billing with Musa’s own opening night back in July.

The wonderful thing about themeet140 is the people. You finally get the chance to meet your twitter “friends” in real life (or IRL!). @ajjohnstone described it wonderfully as “feeling as though you’ve been dropped inside your own twitter feed”.

One of the things I really like about themeet140 is that no-one judges you. It’s not a business event, no-one’s handing out cards. You’re just as likely to speak to a student or a mum as you are an internet entrepreneur.

Speaking of which, right at the start of the evening I got speaking to this young lad who had arrived laden with bags & a guitar. Turned out he was en route south to an un-conference (google it). He was now living in Aboyne, having come back a couple of years ago from Silicon Valley where he counted the founders of WordPress as friends. I sat spellbound as he recounted tales of raising millions from VC’s and about the software he was now developing back in the UK that he believed would transform economies. Wow!

The lovely @rhinomittens told us how she got her twitter name (ask her!), whilst @mcaulay tried to explain how he manages to work 28 hours a day with no sleep!

People ate in small groups, but anyone was welcome to join them, in fact it was actively encouraged. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. It’s kindness & friendliness in equal measure, values that society has long since forgot.

Personally, I love themeet140. I’ve been to Glasgow as well as Aberdeen, and every event is better than the one before. Come with no expectations other than to have fun, be open & willing to talk to anyone. And make sure that anyone shy doesn’t get left alone.

Yeah, it really does renew your faith in mankind, and suggests that maybe there is a better way to be.

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