( I need to take a moment to turn my self in to the Beautiful Picture Police - the Photo above, which I thought was Washington DC facing the Washington Monument along the Potomac is actually an evening shot of lovely St. Paul Minnesota taken by the multi-talented, ever articulate Teresa Boardman fellow AgentGenius Author,who has graciously allowed its use here)
May is one of the two meetings held by the National Association of REALTORS. The May meetings are usually centered around the economy and the legislative efforts of the Association.
This time the meetings had a little different twist for me. Not only did I get to spend time working on the Professional Standards Committee, and work with attend the Risk Management meetings, but this was my first social media impacted meeting and it was a very exciting time. In fact the photo above was shamelessly grabbed from a shared twitter from Matthew Rathbun
I got to meet my fellow AgentGenius writers Matthew Rathbun and Daniel Rothamel, the RealEstate Zebra. I spent time in the modest Bloggers Lounge set up by the Center for Realtor Technology under the apt guidance of Keith Garner. Just a few minutes after my first face to face meeting with Daniel we were live streaming video (courtesy of the Zebra's technical expertise) talking about real estate, NAR, basketball and the lunge itself. Though we had never met in person before, chatting with Daniel was as natural as a conversation can be when you are responding to people on-line asking questions. I look forward to doing that again sometime - It was a real blast.
The other night we went to dinner with Bloggers from Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Virginia and Illinois, organized by Matthew Rathbun, only to found out that my 'new' friends included a member of my Professional Standards Committee.It was a new experience for me. Though she and I had sort of 'passed in the halls' this was the first time we had spent time together and really interacted outside of the committee meeting. Now, 2 days later, she and I and her husband have had lunch and dinner together, and started more of a relationship then we did when we worked together in the large committee.
There is more to this process. In addition to having blogging in common, we all are friends on twitter, where a short 140 character message is written and sent to the people that you "follow" or are "following" you. The 140 characters is based on the largest text message that can be sent to a mobile phone, so even when you are away from your computer, the conversation can be continuous. In fact, during a Social Media presentation yesterday morning, when I needed to attend another meeting, I was privy to the ongoing conversation in the other room, and got experience part of that meeting while I was waiting to present material at the other meeting I was attending. In fact, Hilary Marsh the managing director of realtor.org's publication division, used twitter to provide brief overviews of a number of the important sessions at Mid-Year, easing the problem of conflicting time demands on people who just can't master the skill of being in two places at once. And for those of us who are compulsively writing, these brief updates took the place of making notes about the event we were attending.
So this set of meetings was special, and even more social then in years past, as the virtual world and real world collided creating new real relationships. Sort of neat isn't it?