I have a new meeting edict.
I had 2 rather inspiring, back-to-back meetings this morning.
I wish I could have spent the entire day with the two people I met this morning (one a friend who’s work I admire and I feel comfortable BS’ing with, and the other a stranger-soon-to-be-friend w/ similar interests and demonstrating good ideas), I’d rather have 2 of these people in my address book than 200 people who I “friended” on linked-in.
(I usually prefer to meet in the afternoon when my energy is starting to wane for “thinking work”, but the first meeting was at 7, on purpose, so we could get a jump on the day)
I’ve decided that from now on, I’m only going to meet up in person with people who energize me to talk about things that they or I am passionate about; motivated people who are excited about what they are doing should be the bread and butter of my peoplespace.
(Meeting to “take care of business” can happen via email or on the phone, when at all possible)
As a freelancer, I often get a feeling of isolation when working on projects; sometimes this leads to a lack of accountability (i.e. peer pressure). I miss more, however, the riffing and brainstorming that happens when people willingly get together, share ideas, and are genuinely interested in each others’ (or the collective) success. (and it has to be face-to-face… virtual meetings can’t replicate the energy building of a good brainstorming session).
The corollary to this edict is my new policy of avoiding the energy vacuums who don’t listen at all and are constantly talking about their own stuff with zero expressed interest in your own work. These people tend to hang out a lot on things like facebook and consider the number of “friends” in their lists some sort of score. Bah. They like to spam their list with bragging announcements of what they are up to and expect you to spam all your contacts on their behalf. I’m happy to do this for real friends or for projects that seem worthwhile. However, the shameless self-promoter who fires off project announcement after project announcement (usually leading to a half-assed implementation) gets tiresome and at the very least hurts their credibility (and mine, if I indeed relay their messages). Instead of energizing me, I usually wilt in their presence.
At the very least, without any kind of relationship tending on their part (ex. a very basic quid pro quo or a random “how’s it going” email), I think I can definitively say: I really don’t have time for them.
I have a Cocoa app in the works, incidentally, that might help me out with this hang-up. I think I’ll call something iLove or LoveBot or LoveYa.
Building systems to collect a large social network is one thing. Building tools that urge you to deepen your relationships with friends is a whole other animal.