April 1, 2010 — Social media is still a pretty young phenomena, yet its presence in our culture is already pretty profound. We’re now able to connect with people more easily than ever. Some lament that this ease means that our connections are less meaningful. I suppose that’s true if you have 1500 Facebook friends who you don’t actually know and have never really connected with. But my experience with social media — especially Twitter — has been really positive. I’ve met awesome new people in both the virtual and the real world who I never would have run into otherwise. Sometimes they find me, sometimes I find them, but that’s half the fun.

I’ve had three “tweetups” so far where I’ve met people in person who I otherwise only know through Twitter. Each time it’s been really positive. It’s always fun to see how my online perceptions of a person line up against the reality of getting to know them in person. Sometimes it’s pretty accurate, sometimes people are not at all what I expected. But in both cases, it’s really fun putting the social back into social media.

Today I met @hillaryheinz for the first time. She’s a fellow design and scooter nerd and we had a delicious lunch at Corner Coffee talking about scooters and “the biz.” In some ways it was like looking back in time — remembering myself not so long ago in my own journey. She’s just getting going in both her scooter riding and her design career and seems to be off to a great start in both arenas. She was also sporting her brand new, powder blue Genuine Buddy 50. Such a great color on that scooter. In a fantastic, “it’s a small world” bit of detail, it also turns out that our respective offices are within a few blocks of each other. Fun stuff. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again soon. Nice to meet you, Hillary!

Nathaniel Salzman