It was one of those sudden-realization moments for me.
I was talking to one of my favorite lawyers last night at a local startups event (smartups.org). He mentioned a person I’d sent to him a couple weeks ago. That person had asked me to recommend a small business lawyer, and I recommended him.
The realization was that she — the person I’d sent to him — felt like a friend. I feel like I know her, like her, and trust her. But I’ve never met her. I’ve never even talked to her on the telephone.
I’d met her on Twitter. She popped up with interesting comments in a chat I’d been in, so I followed her. I got to know her with the links she recommended via Twitter, and then her blog posts, and eventually email. I liked her writing and read her book that she recently published. And I’m glad to know her, and consider her a friend, even without ever talking to her.
Over time, at 150 characters per comment, plus reading blog posts, I can get to know a person and his or her work, and end up liking that person. Strange, but true.
And that, in a nutshell, is why I like the new world we’re calling “social media.”