Ever have that feeling that you’re late to the party? Like everyone’s already had a cocktail and an appetizer or two, and then you stroll in with your hair still wet from the shower and your shirt buttoned up crooked?
I’ve been feeling that a little bit lately. Especially while trying to decide whether or not to join Facebook. It rose rapidly and quickly eclipsed all equivalent social networking sites during the last couple of years that Susan and I renovated a pair of old buildings in Essex, NY. Prior to catching the residential rehabilitation bug — or at least prior to the last 3-4 years during which I’ve been 110% consumed with revitalizing five distressed buildings from the early 1800s and 1900s — I considered myself at least near the vanguard of the new media movement. No longer. While I blundered around in a dusty, plaster splattered purgatory, the wired world has catapulted forward. Now, fumbling around like a man blinded by sunlight after too long among the troglodytes, I’m trying to get my bearings. And there is no question; I’m very, very late to the party!
LinkedIn happened to be my first encounter. I was at Susan’s Hamilton College reunion a year and a half ago, and I met Dan Nye who was the much heralded CEO of LinkedIn at the time. He made a presentation about the service to fellow alumni, and by the time I connected with him that afternoon I’d already joined. The concept fascinated me, and his down-to-earth pitch and sharp wit convinced me to act. Since then, my LinkedIn profile has proven to be an invaluable networking tool.
Twitter was next. I’d toyed with it a couple of times before, mostly because it seemed simple and serendipitous. And because it was viable from Blackberry which was indispensable this last couple of years. But it also seemed frivolous during a time where I was rationing minutes for eating and sleeping. So it slipped. Until a few weeks ago when I posted my first tweet to virtualDavis on Twitter. I’m still a newbie for sure, but I’m having a blast. I’ve been really surprised by how quickly I’m connecting to all sorts of great tweeters, and frankly it was the incredibly welcoming atmosphere that I’ve experienced with Twitter that prompted me to take the Facebook plunge. It’s sort of ironic since the Twitter vs. Facebook debate surfaces so often online. For me, a great Twitter experience is what motivated to set up a virtualDavis on Facebook account. And they seem like totally complimentary services, each so totally niched and overdelivering w/in their niches.
So, last night I finally accepted an invitation to join Facebook and I’m off and running! I’m taking a little ribbing from friends who have mocked me for not getting on sooner, but it’s been in good spirits. And I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response and with the number of friends who’ve quickly connected me. That tells me I’m lucky to have good friends, but it also serves as a gentle warning. These folks must be on Facebook all the time! I’ve been amazed at how instantaneous interaction is on Facebook, which makes me wonder how anyone gets anything else done… Late last night, I realized that I’ll have to learn how to close the browser and go to sleep!
To everyone who’s welcomed me into the 21st century, thank you!