I recently made a bold move. It may not seem like a bold move to most, but it was for me. While I am not a stranger to taking action, I find myself struggling – at times – to being a man of my word. On Tuesday, April 19th, I broke a streak that did not seem as if it would ever be broken. I actually went to Ohio to just. Visit.
It all started with a purchase of two tickets to see Minnesotan hip hop group Atmosphere at Newport Music Hall.
I bought two tickets with the idea that I could get a close friend to join me. My plan was to take the drive to Columbus on the same day of the show, possibly stay overnight if we got tired, but not two days. When I could not find a suitable travel companion, I realized that I had a much better opportunity on my hands.
See, since the late 20th century, I have been connecting with fans of hip hop on Internet forums. While people from all over the world would use the forums, I always liked the ones that kept a solid roster of Midwesterners. Guys [and a few gals] would connect In Real Life (IRL) at events like Scribble Jam. That is where the buck stopped for me though. I never went to a Scribble Jam. Catapult some ten-plus years later, there is nothing I enjoy more than meeting people IRL that I made initial contact with on the interwebs.
When I found myself with two tickets and no one to join me from Detroit, I thought it was a good time to do something I have been promising (for what seems like forever) certain Internet chums from Ohio – paying them a visit. As I type this, I am scrambling to come up with a sexy reason for why it has taken me so long to actually make the easy drive to Columbus that has been made by many that I have come to know via forums, Twitter and Facebook. There is nothing sexy about double talk, fear and lack of real drive though. Making the three-and-a-half hour trek had me feeling instantly lame once I saw how smooth it was. Then add the hospitality of the likes of Mike Whaling, Anand Khurma and Nate Riggs and I begin to feel really silly.
Tuesday, April 19th at MoJoe Lounge in German Village marked the first TWEETEA in Columbus. In addition to Mike, Nate and Anand, I also got the pleasure to meet Dr. Erika Pryor, Alisha Bicknell and Heather Whaling. The conversation flowed so easily, I wish it could have lasted longer. In the short time I had with the group, I learned about the Ohio Growth Summit, Talktainment, dissertation coaches and PR 2.0 chat (#pr20chat). We even had quality discussions on the varied interpretations of entrepreneurship and the plight of the social media strategist.
After everything was set and done with TWEETEA, I realized that Columbus is a place I need to visit more often. I know I will only be scratching the surface with the IRL first encounters in my two days here. I was so taken by South Third Street, which MoJoe Lounge resides, that I wished I had gotten in sooner to explore a little more. While the Columbus crew will downplay the coolness of their college town, I find it quite the delightful place. That being said, it is always good to get away and see new things.
I could go on and on about my musings related to my trip to Columbus, but I will leave with this nugget. As trite as it is, do not put off what you could do today for tomorrow. The task is not usually as arduous once you have done it. I learned that for the 4082nd time this past week. As our Ohioan neighbors have shown time and time again, a trip between our states is not that tough, so like Nike, “just do it.”