de.tech.ting

today is the day i met fred wilson

Posted by andreaitis on October 23, 2008

really.  i did.   and it happened through happenstance.

we attended the New Business Models for News Summit today at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.  the program, in its second year, is organized by jeff jarvis and had an all-star turnout.   andrew heyward, craig newmark, jay rosen,  larry kramer … so many others and … fred wilson.  but, it wasn’t just that fred wilson was attending the summit.  oh, no … fred wilson was also the leader of my break-out session.  yep.

all through the strange happenings of happenstance.

so, here it is.  i get to meet fred wilson.  and, it’s weird.  because, as it turns out, the moral of today’s story is this:  social media = social awkwardness.

let me explain.   i keep up with the must-read industry blogs.  including fred’s blog, avc.com.   i follow the usual culprits on twitter.  including fred wilson.    between blog posts and twitter, you get to know someone. the music they like.  the sports teams they follow.  their perspectives and opinions.  the things that make them happy and the things that drive them up the wall.

these social media mechanisms create an intimacy with people you have never met.  i know stowe boyd wakes up every day and twitters ‘good morning edgelings.’   i know jeff jarvis was working on his book while on the acela train.   and i know fred wilson has currently been on an okkervil river kick.

so i know stuff about fred wilson.   and as i was about to meet him, i felt like maybe i’d rather not.   that meeting him after i already ‘know’ him was some strange social shift, going in reverse from personal to impersonal.

and let me be clear: i am not the socially awkward type.  i am typically the one who puts people at ease.  after all, i spent years convincing people to spill their guts on national television.

but the flow of social media meanderings – publicly available, open to all – creates this sense of intimacy.  our tech version of the celebrity syndrome, i suppose.   in our world, though, we have no paparazzi.  we control the flow of information.  it is, in many ways, a social experiment: what goes out, what comes back, what evolves…

and my little experiment still leads me here:  social media = social awkwardness.

the panel led by fred wilson was great – an active, open, lively discussion.  the meeting of fred wilson was okay.  slight to moderate awkwardness.   on my part, at least.   i really don’t know him well enough to gauge what he thought.   we’ll see if he swings by to check out our prototype.  i hope so.  i’d kind of like a do-over.

socially yours –
andrea

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4 Responses to “today is the day i met fred wilson”

  1. Digidave said

    I actually had the same thing going through my mind when I met him.

    Literally our interaction went like this.

    “Hi I’m Fred”

    and I responded

    “Fred Wilson! Um… I mean, you are Fred, I am David…..”

    awkward silence here……

  2. i’ll stop down soon, suite 1301, right?

  3. andreaitis said

    yep – 1301, in the back right corner.

  4. […] VC’s Fred Wilson was very nearby Up one floor, in fact, and me a big fan That’s how my Fred Wilson Watch […]

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