Every morning, this furry guy and I go for a walk. We live on a pretty popular concession road with speeds of 80 km/h and cars headed in both directions. If we walk north, we go by Marlee, the golden Labrador and the black Rottweiler that’s always tied up outside. Marlee teases us and we tease the Rottie as we go by. If we walk south, we go down into a valley with a river going through it with swamp animals and lots of birds.
“We” get interested in all of these distractions and so it’s not uncommon to dart suddenly to see the next one. Fortunately, the darting is typically away from the road. But, from the get-go, we have this routine. We’re walking against the traffic and when there’s a vehicle approaching, I’ll say “Car’s coming” and we pull as far as we can to the shoulder and stop until the vehicle goes by. I’m hoping that this translates into a good habit should Jaimie ever get loose by himself. Probably not, but at least we tried.
What’s interesting is the reaction of the people in the vehicles as they approach. The majority of them will pull away from their lane to give us some safety room. At 80 clicks, you want to be sure. When someone is that courteous, I’ll give them a wave and usually I get a wave back. It’s a nice social acknowledge. We don’t know each other and probably never will but that’s OK. Physical meeting isn’t necessary.
There’s a solar electricity project under construction on the road as well.
The workers going to the construction plot are good citizens too. They must have a meetup point somewhere and then they all hop onto a bus for the trip to the site. After the first couple of times where they didn’t cede any room, they must have seen the little wave of acknowledgement from some other car and sure enough, they do the same thing for us. In fact, most of the passengers on our side of the bus give us a wave as well.
What really strikes me about this morning ritual is how so many of us do this. There’s nothing in it for anyone other than safety. It’s just a nice, courteous thing.
I’ve had people ask “how do you get to make friends and build a community in Twitter”? Do you meet them somewhere and trade Twitter IDs much like people exchange email addresses or phone numbers? Hardly!
As I look at the list of friends and followers associated with my account the chance of meeting most of these people is so remote. I estimate that I might optimistically get the opportunity to actually meet 10% of them. The rest are just a name and an avatar. But, we do manage a wave online with each other periodically.
Case in point … on the weekend, the satellite television went out as a very heavy storm rolled across southeast Michigan and so I switched to WXYZ-TV to see what was up. They had broken into regular programming and had pulled out all the radar and simulation stops showing us the path of the storm. It looked like it was breaking in half with part of it headed to the city of Detroit, MI and the other part to the town of Harrow, ON after crossing Lake Erie.
As I watched my Twitter stream, this came across.
For some reason, I found that interesting and a quick check of Linda’s bio revealed that she’s located in Detroit so I decided to recognize her message. We’re in the same boat with the back of our lawn flooded. It turns out that after a little back and forth, we were watching and following the storm with the same tools and interest.
But, it doesn’t stop there. It turns out that Linda also is a blogger and I checked out the blog and the entry “Change … is good“. As I’ve noted before, I like checking out blogrolls and Linda has listed some resources that I’d never seen before. it was some great reading.
To me, this is how it should work. Linda and/or I could have just continued to head down the road in different directions but we elected to wave and to wave back. From that, I picked up some rich new resources. I just have to hope that Linda is a regular blogger.
Success in Twitter is more than just joining and hoping that something magical happens. You need to wade in and wave (or tweet) based upon a conversation and get involved. There are lots of connections and friends out there to learn with. Just wave.