But until last week, Twitter was just a website. One I visited often, yes. One I liked a lot, yes. One I had met a lot of people on, yes. But I didn’t really know these people. Until last week.
I caught wind of a Tweet-Up about a month ago. Turns out, these virtual people I interacted with every day were going to meet up. IN REAL LIFE. Face-to-face.
At first, I hesitated. What would they think of me in real life? I don’t really look like a little cartoon house as my Twitter page would suggest. My real name is Kelly, not @QuickenLoans. I can’t spout mortgage rates without my trusty Market Update in my hand. I don't actually speak in 140 character increments. And, even worse, though my mother will be horrified I admitted this, I may or may not swear a lot in real life. I keep it clean for the Twitter.
But the Tweet-Up was at a bar. So that basically sealed the deal for me. (Kidding, Mom!)
I managed to talk a few of my work comrades into going with me. If it’s not fun, we’ll just pretend we’re there for dinner, I promised.
But once we got there, my fear subsided. These were MY type of people. While most of my friends yell at me for checking my phone, these people celebrated it. I slapped a name tag on (Twitter handles only) and started mingling.
While I don’t remember everyone I met, I can assure you that the Detroit Twitter group is a special one. These are some of the smartest, friendliest, most engaging, most brilliant minds in all of Metro Detroit. Keep in mind, Twitter is still a relatively new phenomenon, so many of the people at the Tweet-Up are some of the earliest adapters. Cutting-edge. Forward-thinking. All from different backgrounds; but all truly at the forefront of technology. I met some pretty cool people that night – all the very epitome of the DIFF.
While meeting all these amazing people (90+ attendees at last count) was enough to rock my nerdy little world, it was further shaken when our local news, Channel 7 WXYZ, showed up! Mucho thanks to Stephen Clark (@SClarkWXYZ), resident Twitter-loving news anchor at WXYZ for hearing about it, showing up, and giving the Detroit Twitterverse a little face time. Check out our sweet minute of air time in the video above – my non-speaking cameo role at around :47 in the black & white sweater. Or check it out on WXYZ’s site here.
So, yeah. CASE CLOSED. Tweet-Ups are cool. I can’t get DIFFmaster @ClayC313 to stop calling them Tweet-Offs, but he’ll learn when I drag him to the next one.
Props/Shout-Outs/Tweet-Outs (whatev) to a couple super people I know had a hand in organizing – Ken Burbary (@KenBurbary) and Brandon Chestnutt (@bchesnutt). You guys rocked it out. I'm ready to plan the next one, like, tomorrow.
For a full list of attendees and a couple hilarious videos from the Tweet-Up, check out Brandon’s blog. To find out about future Tweet-Ups, join the Detroit Tweet-Ups Facebook group. And you can find me anytime on the Twitter – @QuickenLoans by day and @KLaVaute by night.