Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why Won't They Just Connect?

I posted on our 8 Minute Ripple Community BLOG yesterday some suggestions for our fellow Ripplers to come down (obviously if they are already in Austin) and check out the SXSW scene. It is an ideal opportunity to make some new connections, meet some great people and just hang with a very diverse and unique crowd. A perfect environment to just practice Rippling!

Feel free to check out the BLOG post from our 8 Minute Ripple BLOG by clicking here.

So officially day two of my official SXSW experience ended with my meeting some amazing new people and learning a lot thanks in part to my willingness to Ripple. As I sat in one of the ballrooms yesterday morning waiting for a session to start I had an ample opportunity to watch and observe all the people and the mojo of the room. I continue to be amazed by just how disconnected people tend to be. People opened their laptops and were busily instant messaging or sending email or on the cell phone or tapped into their Ipods. They were doing anything and everything to be a party of one in a sea of hundreds.

I wanted to jump up on stage and yell from the top of my lungs, "Look around you! There are amazing people right next to you and no one is talking! Hang up your phones, shut off your laptops and just start talking!" Those few people I did see make an attempt were not talking about anything remotely engaging!

Never in my life did I want to teach the masses the power of Rippling! Those few unique connections that I observed were the typical "So what do you do?" blah, blah, blah followed by the mind-numbing polite chit chat that inevitably leads to the gloss over eyes and walking coma.

Can you say painful?

I made it my point to step outside my box and do a fair amount of connecting. I met some great people whom I never would have met if I hadn't opened my mouth. I met some cool people who live right here in Austin, some people who traveled from overseas to just come to SXSW and about a five or six people from both coasts. I made it a point to really connect and not let anyone take the path of least resistance, or sucker's choice, by defaulting to talk simply about business. And you know what? By starting a conversation by just asking "So what's the coolest thing you have seen so far at SXSW?" the connections and the Ripples began to really stack up!

I cherish this gift of attending this event. Despite having the opportunity to speak at SXSW and to do a book signing or two, I am just thrilled with the opportunity to surround myself with some interesting people from all over the world and to make some new friends.

Why anyone would squander the opportunity to connect in such a wonderful environment is beyond me. No matter what, I am going to make the most of these next few days and hope to find a whole new audience for the power of the Ripple!

Ripple On My Friends!!!


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