Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great: Addressing Tweetup Behavior.

Whenever I go to tweetups (in-person group meetings of people who know each other online, mostly via Twitter), I notice two distinct types of interaction between people.

  • One kind of person will who use it as an chance to get to know people as people, talk about all kinds of things and generally chitchat, making a real connection with others.
  • The other kind is much more limited, focusing on what I like to call “talking about talking.” You will hear phrases out of this persons mouth like “Well, I twitter about such-and-such” or “As I wrote in my blog…” more frequently than most.  They relate to people through how they already know them.

I’m not going to say that one level of interaction is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than another, I just find it curious.  I’ve always tried to chat with people that I know online about things not related to online, because hey, we’re all people first.  Is it possible that the second type are looking for some kind of validation from those around them.

In thinking about it, it seems like perhaps many of the ‘talking about talking’ folks are used to being a ‘big fish’, so to speak.  When you surround yourself (intentionally or by virtue of your job) with people who are less familiar with online communications than you are, I think we all have a tendency to go into ‘guru-speak’, talking about talking, in order to evangelize the importance of the medium.  Some folks have a hard time turning that off when they’re in a room with other online-focused people.

So I guess my message to this second type of person is:  Relax, you’re amongst friends.  You shouldn’t feel the need to prove your net-savvy, or active in the online world, that’s why you’re attending a tweetup!  In-person meetings are the time to get to know people as people.  Find out what music your favorite blogger is into, complain about the weather, start a drinking game.  Talking about talking really just comes off as trying too hard, and makes me want to roll my eyes and go talk to people I know have no interest in talking about follower counts over beer.

Tweetup (via @socialmedium)
Tweetup (via @socialmedium)

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Leave ’em in the comments :)

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Swan

If the tweet-up is designed for people interested in a particular topic, wouldn’t you expect people to share information about that topic. Especially if they have been sharing 140char blocks, the opp for a richer in-person discussion seems it should not be missed.

I am certainly not against connecting on a personal level, but there are lots of places to make friends. I generally go to a particular type of meet-up to meet people interested in particular topics.

@JoselinMane

Great post on something that isn’t often discussed which is tweetup etiquette.

I don’t find too many people “talking about talking” here in Boston must be a NY thing.

(Just kidding I wanted to quickly throw in a NY/Boston rivalry thing in here. ;-p Go Sox)

Anyway I have found that most of the people that I have met that have large online followings like say a Chris Brogan or Steve Garfield are the most humble and easy to talk to people.

It’s sad that there are people “talking about talking” because they ruin the experience for everyone.

Look forward to seeing you at a tweetup soon!

ValerieInRke

Enjoyed this post. I’ve never been to a meetup though they are around here. I don’t make tweeting my life. I bring my life into tweeting to share and to find perspective – new things – get good tips. It’s not the number of followers – it’s the quality of followers. Have to admit unfollowing some that tweet every few seconds about where they are and what their doing – I don’t care unless your my children.

Swan

If the tweet-up is designed for people interested in a particular topic, wouldn’t you expect people to share information about that topic. Especially if they have been sharing 140char blocks, the opp for a richer in-person discussion seems it should not be missed.

I am certainly not against connecting on a personal level, but there are lots of places to make friends. I generally go to a particular type of meet-up to meet people interested in particular topics.

@JoselinMane

Great post on something that isn’t often discussed which is tweetup etiquette.

I don’t find too many people “talking about talking” here in Boston must be a NY thing.

(Just kidding I wanted to quickly throw in a NY/Boston rivalry thing in here. ;-p Go Sox)

Anyway I have found that most of the people that I have met that have large online followings like say a Chris Brogan or Steve Garfield are the most humble and easy to talk to people.

It’s sad that there are people “talking about talking” because they ruin the experience for everyone.

Look forward to seeing you at a tweetup soon!

ValerieInRke

Enjoyed this post. I’ve never been to a meetup though they are around here. I don’t make tweeting my life. I bring my life into tweeting to share and to find perspective – new things – get good tips. It’s not the number of followers – it’s the quality of followers. Have to admit unfollowing some that tweet every few seconds about where they are and what their doing – I don’t care unless your my children.

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Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great: Addressing Tweetup Behavior. | Jeremy Meyers dot com [link to post]

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