Gear Shift

Change is the only constant I have anymore.

A tale of two cities

Posted by Jen on March 25, 2008

So this morning I was at Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Breakfast in Baltimore. It was great to have the event on our own turf and to meet Baltimore people that haven’t necessarily traveled to these things in the surrounding areas. It was a very different experience from the DC breakfast, I found. And several others commented on the same thing. The DC breakfast was huge and almost intimidating. Okay, at least intimidating for me… but that’s just how I am. Believe it or not, I don’t function well in large crowds, especially large crowds of strangers. It’s something I’m consciously working on. But in the meantime, large events like that can be mildly anxiety-inducing.

But back to the point. The Baltimore event was smaller and more intimate. And the benefit for me was that I had a chance to connect with people on a more local level. As I met people and talked about what they do and what I do and what there is to be done, a common theme emerged. Baltimore is like a city on the verge of something, but it isn’t quite sure what. It doesn’t have the energy and drive of DC. It lacks the tech savvy of northern VA. But there is still an active scene of social media and entrepreneurs if you know where to look. It’s like a tale of two cities. One is old school media and PR. And it’s secret little sister is this social media cutting edge sort of thing just laying in wait.

I think as a group we could really make something in Baltimore. If we were able to join together, pool our resources and knowledge, and well…. just have some fun. I think we could take these two cities and two schools of thought and join it into one really cool area. Do I know exactly how to do all of that? No, no I don’t. But I think there are enough people covering enough different areas of knowledge that together we could have the answer.

One thing I have to say about these social media breakfasts is that I leave each one energized. Some conversation or piece of it makes me think. On this Tuesday morning, I’m grateful for that. I’m hoping that some of the people I met can turn into new contacts and new friends. I’m hoping maybe we can all be the change I’m thinking of today.

As an afterthought, and a post script to my last entry, I should also tell you I did indeed come up with that personal tag line. These days I am “Runs with scissors!” I grew up believing there are two types of people in this world…. “Plays nice with others” and “Runs with scissors”. On the surface, running with scissors seems uncooperative. Kind of like the dangerous version of “Eats paste”. But I see it a bit differently. To me it’s not a matter of cooperation, it’s a matter of looking at things differently. In my job I spend a lot of time doing things the way they have always been done because that’s the way to do them. Often I don’t agree with the way, but there’s not much I can do about a lot of it. I play nice, I am diplomatic and tactful and all of that. My bosses aren’t afraid to let me loose in public or anything. But I do have a slight edge to me. I do buck against process solely for the point of process. I want to find new an innovative ways to do things. I want to look at things differently and enjoy change. I run with scissors.

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One Response to “A tale of two cities”

  1. Penny said

    Great Post, Jen! It was nice talking to you this morning.

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