To me it is other people. I like to connect with other people. I also like to acknowledge great work, even if I don’t know the person who did it.
One way I have recently been using to connect to other people is through Twitter www.twitter.com, which is like an instant messaging technology that you can join and use to follow and be followed. I’ve been following my favorites to see what they are up to during their day, like Dan Pink and Lance Armstrong. People can also follow you back when you “tweet” about what you are up to (send an instant message) and know what you are up to as well.
I was very flattered when Guy Kawasaki started following me. I was still flattered after I discovered that he was following me and 25,000 other people. Silly I know, but hey, we all like to be seen (and followed). At first, I couldn’t figure out the value of Twitter…and then I started to click on the links people were sending and learned about some cool new stuff they were into. You can also see where people live and what interests them when you follow them around.
Last week I found a whole other layer of value to Twitter when I used it to send a message to someone whose work I really liked AND who also lived in my neighborhood. And guess what? I got a message back. From who? Lee LeFever at Commoncraft.
CommonCraft http://www.commoncraft.com is the brainchild of Lee and Saachi LeFever. They make educational videos on stuff we need to know about…like social networking and their latest video on Phishing. I like their videos so much I called Lee up just to say hello. I did tell him about who we were and that we drew and if he ever needed an artist to let me know. But that was just a typical “businessy” thing that I felt compelled to do. I honestly wanted to know if it was just him and Saachi over there making these videos. I was pleasantly surprised to hear it was.
It was just a short call, to say hello and I appreciated that he took the time to talk with me. Later I wondered, was that why he took my call? Because he is committed to making money AND really lives the value of work/life balance – subsequently he could take the time to just have a conversation?
Right now we are at a crucial time in our world. The press is having a field day between the election and the economy. Me? I’m still watching the world series and trying to stay calm and keep my head clear while things get sorted out. AND I am still making connections with new people that I think are cool and telling them so.
So while the world turns, why not pick out someone you think is doing something really great, stop what you are doing just to send them an email or give them a call to say, “You are great. You are inspiring me, thank you.” It might make their day. Or it might make your day to have a brief, friendly conversation with someone else who is trying to make a difference in the world.