Well I’ve been in Cincinnati a little over two months now and I’m starting to get used to things. Thanks to my lovely wife I have realized that one huge element missing from my daily life since leaving New Orleans has been the lack of non internet based social interaction.
Thus is was with great pleasure that I headed out to hit my first New Media Cincy meetup. I’ve been corresponding with the organizer, Daniel Johnson Jr., since before our arrival in Ohio and he’s be been great. This afternoon we finally met face to face when he was kind enough to give me a lift. (Thanks Daniel, you’re the best!)
All in all I would say that there were about 50 people there, and most of the afternoon was “networking.” In other words food, conversation and Guinness served at a proper temperature. I was lucky enough to find some good conversations to join, a terrific thing since I would rather have a significant interaction with someone than run around pimping myself. Better to share a few (bad) jokes over a beer rather than give them the “Eric Stratton, rush chairman, damn glad to meet you!” handshake and bolt.
Some of the Ohio crowd that I had the pleasure of meeting today included the following:
First I ran into Vicki Sceifers from VS Productions, she and her colleague were setting up a live cam to transmit the gathering. Always one to dive in on a production I assisted a bit in fighting recalcitrant velcro into holding up the cam. In addition to production we also have Thesis in common. (Thesis is the theme this blog runs on.) Instant conversation!
Next I joined a table and was informed by Ralph Helm of Level 3 Media that they serve Guinness at its proper temp. Needless to say we hit it off pretty well. Hey Ralph, anytime you want to continue our discussion about New Orleans just let me know!
Maria Schneider is the former editor of Writer’s Digest and currently helms Editor Unleashed. She is also a lot of fun to talk to. Since I’ve done a lot of blogging in that arena subcontracting for Patron Saint Productions we had some solid common ground from the outset. Nice new addition to my RSS reader!
Then there was Sara Carbough who can be found at Right Click Office Services. Again it was a publishing connection that started the conversation (her current top post is about virtual book tours, again something I have experience with). Most of the time we were seated around her laptop which served as the epicenter of the lively conversations.
Last but far from least comes the person I spent most of the afternoon speaking to, a kindred geek spirit named Catherine Sandrick. You see, as happens at these things, we were all wearing name tags. When a woman stood nearby wearing one with Mad Science Dept as the company name I just had to ask. Turns out she does some serious PHP and C++ work among other things. We got on very well. (By the way Catherine, the band I told you about was the Consortium of Genius. You’ll love ‘em!) You can tell she earned her Mad Scientist Labcoat honestly, take a look at this post full of performance boosting workarounds for Magento users! Mad, I tell you!
The topic du jour for the meetup was people’s reports from Podcamp Ohio last week. Most of it seemed to be basic stuff, Creative Commons and so forth. The part that I really enjoyed was the conversations. While we have been getting settled into the new house I’ve had little opportunity to interact with humans face to face and jumping into a crowd of strangers with a common interest was just what I needed.
Thanks for putting these together Daniel! And thanks to those of you I met today, you were an excellent welcome wagon if I do say so myself. And I do.
George “Loki” Williams is the owner of SocialGumbo, LLC