Connecting to People


Technology can enable us in many many ways, and perhaps recently, has truly expanded the number of was we can (re)connect with people in our lives. Whether it be through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Friends Reunited, LinkedIn or other services, there’s a good chance we’ll find and be able to reconnect with people once prominent in our lives.

However we cannot rely on technology alone, for it can only go so far – when we want to deepen the relationship or move beyond superficial discussions, we can really only do that when we meet physically.

When I first started on Twitter, the first few people I followed were from Melbourne. These contacts helped me understand Twitter and showed me (through their tweets) how it worked for them. They also expanded my list of contacts by recommending me to others as well as recommending others to me. I now have at least 50 ‘new’ friends in Melbourne through Twitter that I regularly interact with (some of these people have  branched out into Facebook and LinkedIn as well).

When I was planning the Snowyride trip (Here’s the awesomely detailed ride report on my personal blog), I decided to extend my trip to Melbourne (as I was already part-way to Melbourne) to meet some of these people face to face. No other reason except to make a more personal connection with people I’d come to know through Twitter. So far, I’ve met about 10 people, and through a couple of planned tweetups over the next few days this number will increase!

Melbourne from Williamstown
Melbourne from Williamstown

Something I ask of you (this won’t be too taxing, I promise) – Take a look at how & why you’re using technology, and see what opportunities it has given you to be able to (re)connect with others. Where you can, be proactive to explore opportunities to meet these people face to face. I know I can become a better person from the experiences, conversations, chats and insights gained from meeting people on this trip, and perhaps you could too? Feel free to share this with other people, and share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below!

P.S. I have now returned home and would like to try and capture the list if people I met whilst in Melbourne. If I miss you off this list PLEASE let me know!

If you’d like to follow my Melb posse (above), use my twitter list: My Melb Friends!

PPS. My friend Robin Dickinson just posted Seven easily missed truths about human relationships, about the differences between connections and relationships. After reading his post, it resonated with me clearly why I made this trip to Melbourne – it was to turn those ‘connections’ into real relationships (and I especially like number 7: Relationships are gifts that grow with shared participation, connections aren’t.

8 replies on “Connecting to People”

Hi Andrew, what a great trip!

Thanks for sharing your travels and your insights. I’m fascinated by the distinction between connections and relationships. Your post gives a clear demonstration of how the power of connections is in breadth, and the power of relationships is in depth.

Implicit in your post is also the idea that not every connection will develop into a relationship. And given that it has never been easier to “collect connections” – 100’s, even 1000’s of ‘followers’ & ‘friends’ – it will be increasingly important for us to think through who will stay as a connection, and who will become a relationship – especially in a business context. Call it a ‘connection > relationship’ strategy, for want of a better term.

I would love to discuss these thoughts with you, Andrew.

Best to you and the readers of this excellent blog.


@Iggy – As always, thanks for your encouragement 🙂

@Robin – I would love to catch up with you to discuss this further – I believe relationships are the key to getting the best out of this world!

@Chris – I came back with a few other ideas on how to make such a trip more widely advertised in the future – for the most part I kept the announcements to Twitter only! Oh and there’s likely to be a next time 🙂

Hi Andrew,

Love this! We all need to keep reminding ourselves that sometimes we need to scratch deeper than the connection and check out underneath which connections need to be nurtured to a relationship. I think that it is also important to regularly revisit connections and relationships as we move through life. As we all grow in different directions and at different rates connections can become relationships and vise verse. Importantly they can be transient and move between the two states depending on we are on our journey. It was truly lovely to catch-up. I have found and am now following you on twitter but I so have my training wheels still on this.

Cheers, Larissa

Wonderful post Andrew! I also love how web2.0 technology has enabled people to connect and form relationships. Apart from the phone (landline and mobile) current technology is certainly helping empower & connect humanity unlike the ‘tyranny’ of workplace and shop-floor technologies which had isolated and even dehumanised us. It was great to meet you at the SocialMeb brekkie and I’m looking forward to when our paths to cross again. M 🙂

So glad to have found this post via your tweet this morning – capturing your connection stories in a blog post is so simple yet so effective. Thanks for sharing this, and for passing this post on to my mate John Haining who will be in Melbourne next week – your Twitter List will be invaluable for that.

This “connection technologies” space is moving at a rapid rate of knots and I am going to do my utmost to make sense of it to myself and the world.

Which reminds me about my post this week about “the art of cross-posting” after the latest “kid-on-the-block” of connection technologies, Foursquare, is starting to become prevalent across more mature social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I’d be interested in your thoughts – our community has some great comments worth reading too.

See the post here:

Tony Hollingsworth

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