The Post I Keep Wanting to Write (but haven’t…yet)

I can see this long-delayed post in my mind’s eye. It’s big, loaded with names, and pure linkbait. It’s a feel-good post with a rather long list of all the fine people I’ve actually MET (in real life) because of involvement with social networking.

My kids make jokes about all my “virtual” friends – ha-ha, you little ingrates – the old man “gets it” better than you do! Other people pass along the standard ignorant caricatures about interacting with a bunch of people you don’t know about stuff no-one cares about. Ignoramuses. I’ll stack up my buddies against anyone you know in a heartbeat.

Making friends and creating opportunities. THAT’s what social networking is all about.

So, why do I keep not writing that post? Because it would take too long! Too many links to create. And then I’d also forget people, which is embarrassing. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of meeting so many of you at conferences, tweetups, and other meetings, that it’s almost impossible to keep up any “list.”

But, what the heck. I think I’ll dedicate 10 60 90 minutes and do a half-job right now, without the links. The fact that it’s a rush job will also provide my excuse when I inevitably forget some of you. Plus, my brain cells are declining. So there.

My pharma/healthcare folks: Shwen Gwee, Sally Church, Dennis Urbaniak, Erik Hawkinson, Jon Richman, Sarah Morgan, Phil Baumann, Wendy Blackburn, Fard Johnmar, Cynthia North, Jim Edwards, Marc Monseau, Marian Cutler, Christiane Truelove, Leigh Duncan-Durst, Betsy Stevenson, Valerie Guertler, Brad Pendergraph, Mark Davis, Ed Silverman, Silja Chouquet, Heather Powell, Ray Kerins, Paulo Machado, Michael Myers, Kevin Nalty, Jay Bryant, Suki Fuller, Jennifer Harwell, Koreen Olbrish, Ellen Hoenig Carlson, Dana Lewis, Steve DeLabio, Enid Crystal, Chris Mycek, Kerri Sparling, Dave deBronkart, Manny Hernandez, Kelly Kunik, Meredith Gould, Jack Barrette, Craig DeLarge, Fabio Gratton, Eileen O’Brien, Carlen Lea, Jack Bilson, William Martino, Michael Parks, Greg Rust, Mark Senak, Mario Nacinovich, Ben Atkins, Daphne Swancutt, David Reim, Xavier Petit, Zoe Elliott, Maria Relaki, Neil Wiser, Dana Webster, Amber Benson, Donna Tocci…plus others I met pre-social media (like John Mack, Jane Chin, Kevin Kruse, Jeanne Male, etc.) and others I look forward to meeting sometime in the future (Andrew Spong, Nat Bourre, Ken Burbary, etc.)

Marketing/SocMed pals: David Armano, Matt Dickman, Liz Strauss, Amber Naslund, Ann Handley, Joe Cascio, Jay Baer, Beth Harte, Becky Carroll, Brandon Goldman, Chris Brogan, Terry Starbucker, Drew McLellan, Christina Kerley, Jason Kintzler, Sarah Evans, Darryl Ohrt, Jeremiah Owyang, Mack Collier, Chris Kieff, Joe Jaffe, Deirdre Breakenridge, Paul Chaney, Juliann Grant, Lance Hill, Tom Clifford, Dossy Shiobara, Kirsten Wright, Adam Wolf, Matt McDonald, Jason Falls, Shannon Paul, Scott Monty, Amanda Gravel, Christine Perkett, Jay Ehret, Geoff Livingston, Valeria Maltoni, Scott Bradley, Alan Wolk, Connie Reece, CB Whittemore, Josh Bernoff, Greg Verdino, Lewis Green, Doug Meacham, Toby Bloomberg, David Reich, Arun Rajagopal, Todd Andrlik, Cam Beck, Rohit Bhargava, Jennifer Berk, Saul Colt, Luc Debaisieux, Kristin Gorski, Gavin Heaton, Lori Magno, Jane Quigley, Cathleen Rittereiser, John Wall, Steve Roessler, Mario Vellandi, Jon Burg, Kaitlyn Wilkins, Shonali Burke, Liz Pullen, David Berkowitz, Lauren Vargas, Lee Odden, Aimee Kessler, Jacqueline Dodd, Kellye Crane, Kevin McNulty, Julie Roads, Becky McCray, Peter Shankman, Jaimie Field, Ellen Cagnassola, Sheila Scarborough, Lisa Petrilli, Phil Gerbyshak, Natalie Scott, John Moore, Stuart Foster, David Polinchock, Stephen Harris, Jackie Silver, Tim Jackson, Shashi Bellamkonda, Trey Pennington, Jon Swanson, Scott Stratten, Sonny Gill, Jonathan Fields…raise your hand in the Comments if I’ve missed you, because I know I’ve skipped a bunch!

Can’t wait to finally meet in real life: Mike Sansone, Ike Pigott, Amy Fitch, Matthew Ray Scott, Karen Swim, Lisa Hoffmann, Tom Martin, Christina Stallings, Shannon Whitley, Douglas Karr, Kevin Dugan, Tracy Lee, Brett Duncan, Sonya Martin, Dana Moos,  Robert Hruzek, Ben Kunz,  Angela Maiers, Todd Defren, Chris Wilson, Lon Cohen, Rosa Say, Andrew Clark,  Dennis VanStaalduinen, CC Chapman, Kristi Colvin, Olivier Blanchard, Brandon Cox, Ashley Messick, Frank & Pamela Martin, Kevin Pho, Cheryl Smith, Chris Garrett, Deb Brown, Anne Galivan, Stefano Maggi, Tamera Kremer – this list could go on and on…

In several instances, real business and/or collaboration has occurred through these connections – partnerships, referrals, joint ventures.

Now, I understand all the talk about the ROI of Social Media for business, etc. I really do. But look at the list above. What better ROI can there be than meeting people like this; sharing life, information, and resources; and creating great networks together? I don’t need any calculations to tell me if social networking is worthwhile. I have…you.


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Twitter: @swoodruff

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

43 Responses to The Post I Keep Wanting to Write (but haven’t…yet)

  1. Liana Miller says:

    Love this!

  2. Ken Burbary says:

    Love the post Steve and I hope our paths cross some time soon so we can actually chat F2F.

  3. Nice post Steve. I was just speaking with a colleague earlier about what a nice “virtual intro” social media – particular Twitter – can be. When I enter a room at a conference now, meeting a Twitter contact face-to-face can be the difference between a hug and a handshake. And it’s suprisingly genuine.

    Thanks for the mention – great to meet you and see that you’re a real person, too!

  4. Ike says:

    You’ve had several chances to meet me. You just need to pony up for my speaker’s fee.

    (and don’t forget to inspect the rider…)

  5. I share your pain (and desire) to write a post like this, but with the links. I wish there were a plugin or a tool that if you type someone’s name and click “link” it would auto link with the page that they have pre-selected for themselves that would be there link page…hmmm…business idea here? 🙂

  6. You’re on my “must meet” list too, Steve! Of course, there’s a chance you may unfriend, unfollow and unlink me once we meet face-to-face 😉

  7. Kirsten: Interesting idea for a plugin/widget/service. However, I wonder how many people would actually use it.

    Steve: Thanks for including me in the list – was fun to see my name pop up here.

  8. The comment I keep trying to leave 🙂

    It was a pleasure to meet you at the Bloggers Social and see you again at SxSW, I do hope to do more with you project-wise in the coming year, and would love to stay in touch more frequently.

    How’s that?

  9. Wendy, I’ve enjoyed lots of hugs at meetups/conferences that flowed very easily out of virtual “pre-meetings”!

    Valeria, you’ve always been a high point in my network, right from the earliest days.

    Kirsten, great idea…Dossy, can you invent it?? :>}

    Lisa, you’re a terrible liar.

    Ike, Ken Burbary doesn’t charge to meet people. You need to re-think this strategy…

  10. Blessed to be on this list.

    Steve, here’s a shocker: we could have lunch outside of a conference. I live less than an hour away and would be happy to hike up 287.

  11. Joe Ruiz says:

    Steve, it was a pleasure meeting you at the unconference in Bridgewater last year. I am still planning to connect with Doug Meacham. I hope our paths will cross again.
    Joe (SMSJoe)

  12. Steve,
    Wow, I’m honored to make your list, thanks! This is what I love about social networking too, we would have never met if it weren’t for Twitter. Now I love reading your blog and keeping tabs on what you’re up to. It’s nice to know that you’re just a tweet away…

  13. Jay Baer says:

    Thanks buddy. I wonder how much biz indirectly flows as a result of these connections? Hard to nail it down precisely, but I know for sure it’s a lot. Without real relationships, we are just avatars, and we have to knock down a giant tree to get some inobtainium, the blue people be damned (or something like that).

  14. Jay Ehret says:

    Bingo, Steve. The ROI of social media is the relationships. That’s quite an amazing list you’ve assembled! I’m honored to have made it. It was fun sharing the floor with you and Becky Carroll last year at SXSW.

  15. brandon says:

    You are dead on and I completely agree. Thanks for the mention and I look forward to connecting in Philly if not sooner.

  16. Mack Collier says:

    Steve great post and thanks for the mention! Maybe the stars will align and we can meet in Boston in May at the B2B Forum?

  17. Meredith – lunch anytime is fabulous.
    Brandon and Joe – great meeting you guys and so many others at conferences.
    Jay and Mack – any conference with you guys on board is immediately 100% better. Always a pleasure hanging out with either/both of you.
    Juliann – you provided a great ROI test case for Twitter connections! I’ll never forget that…

  18. Steve,

    So happy to be included on your list. I’ll bring my favorite Oregon Pinot Noir as a welcome gift. Remember, you always have a place to stay if you visit Portland.

    Matthew Ray Scott

  19. cbwhittemore says:

    Steve, you are amazing! Thank you for including me. I love that you are not only a real virtual friend [!], but also my neighbor – and only because of social media. CB

  20. Thanks Steve. 2010 is indeed the year for face-to-face meetings amongst online friends. Every effort to connect in person is definitely worth it.

    Regarding that infamous quest for ROI: Just listening to Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone,” for about the fifth time. He answers the age old question, “What are the secrets to success?” with a clear, one-word answer sure to make the accountants and ROI-focused-types squeamish—”generosity” (p. 15 in the book).

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your friends. There are several “new folks” on your list. I bet it’s going to be cool meeting them.

    Trey on Twitter
    Trey’s email so we can get acquainted

  21. Karen Swim says:

    Steve, this post conveys one of the many things I like about you – your humanity! You have always stood out as someone who delights in human relationships and social media has simply been one more tool for you to joyfully engage people. I can’t wait to meet you too and think this just may be the year! Now about that widget…I would use it. I’m also still keen on your master social media management tool.

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  23. Steve,
    Wow… honored to be mentioned in your post, really. Social networking makes even more sense when virtual connections reach reality. It was a pleasure meeting you at Blogger Social and I seriously hope we’ll get a new chance to exchange ideas “live” in 2010. : )

  24. chrisperkett says:

    Steve – thanks for the inclusion. What a great list of people – most of whom I’ve also met, thanks to social media. Your last line is my favorite.

    Here’s to more great collaborations in 2010. I hope it’s a smashing year for everyone on your list!

    Christine Perkett

  25. Alan Wolk says:

    The pleasure has been all mine. Your sense of humor- in general and about work/social media in particular, always helps to keep me sane.

  26. A true pleasure knowing you too Steve and I look forward to the onteracons ahead

  27. Anne says:


    Great post; so true; and I’m going to tweet it even if I didn’t make any of the lists! 🙂

    Anne @alivenkickin

  28. Anne – ARGGHH! I knew I’d forget some folks. Oversight corrected…

  29. Thanks for the shout out Steve 🙂

  30. Donna Tocci says:

    Awww…I made your list! Thanks so much! Looking forward to seeing you, Mack and a host of others in Boston this spring!

  31. Jeanne Male says:

    Steve, two thoughts came to mind immediately upon reading this feel-great post:

    1. How grateful I am to know you and for such a long time before social media but also how lucky others are to come to know you if only through social media.

    2. That despite knowing you for well over a dozen years that it is only through the use of social media that I have ‘really’ gotten to know you…your thoughts, interests, ideas, opinions, humor, philosophies.

    Thinking that I ‘knew’ you simply by counting the years is akin to simply meeting you many times – indeed, I would call THAT a virtual friendship. I have only gotten to really know you as a result of social media and am grateful for how it has created a more holistic or 360 degree friendship.

  32. Jeanne,
    That’s a pretty amazing observation. People often underestimate how much you can get to “know” someone via social networks. Turns the whole virtual/real discussion on its head, doesn’t it? :>}

  33. Steve, Love this post. Pretty sure I’m not the Deb Brown you want to meet – but hey, I love to make new friends. Actually, I am participating again in the Age of Conversation and I noticed there is also a Deb Brown – same one?

    Anyway, it is important to stop for a moment and acknowledge our friends – both in person, virtual and imaginary!

    Thanks for taking the time.

    Deb Brown
    aka Deborah Chaddock Brown

  34. Kellye Crane says:

    Now this is a great way to write such a post (which I’ve always wanted to do, too) – make it clear it was done in a rushed fashion so as not to offend! I’m flattered that you thought to include me, and I hope we get to spend more quality time together in 2010. But most of all, I hope you keep interspersing your wisdom with doses of hilarity on this blog — you are truly unique!

  35. Connie Reece says:

    I have been meaning to write this same post! It’s hard for my non-social-networking friends to understand just how much it has meant to me to be able to meet in person some of the most delightful, knowledgeable, etc., etc. people that I’ve enjoyed getting to know online. I’ve forged real, and hopefully lasting, bonds with a relative handful (compared to “friend” numbers) of my “virtual” friends.

    Go slap some sense into those ingrates of yours. Heh! (w/ a nod to Jason Falls, who has reportedly trademarked Heh.)

  36. Brett Duncan says:

    I’m flattered, and my sentiment is the same. Yours was one of the first blogs I ever started reading, and I haven’t stopped.

    The idea that all this goofy online stuff we do works best when it leads to real-life and eventually in-person relationships really is the nucleus.


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  38. Brett, you flatter me. Please feel free to continue :>}

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