Social Media Goes on A RoadTwip
A week or so ago we told you about this thing called RoadTwip. Surely, you thought we meant Road Trip, right. After all, there's typos on Adrants all the time. But no, We got it right this time. It really is RoadTwip.
So what the hell is RoadTwip. Well, it *is* a road trip but it's so much more as well. The goal of RoadTwip, as one third of the RoadTwip crew, Jolie O'Dell, writes on ReadWriteWeb, is to "stop spinning on the NYC/SF/LA axis of the tech world, get outside the echo chamber, test the IRL capabilities of social media, and get a glimpse of something new and authentic."
We all spend hours every day symbiotically attached to our laptops engaging in what we love to call social media. And it's a beautiful thing. The internet and the millions of things that come with it have made it ever so easy to closely communicate and build relationships with people anywhere in the world. And maintain those relationships for years without every having physically met.
But, as Jolie writes, "another big premise of the RoadTwip is that online and offline each have the most powerful effects when combined. Relationships are strengthened; the social web grows thicker; value is enhanced."
This is very true. No matter how rich online communication becomes, it will never replace the joy of lingering over dinner with a close friend or having coffee with a group of people you've just met at a conference.
Online social interaction enables offline social interaction and vice versa. They enhance each other. You meet someone online and learn a lot about them before you meet them offline. You can meet someone offline and continue the relationship online to learn more about them and build upon the initial relationship. This is not like the discovery of E=MC2 or anything but it has helped us enrich and enliven our relationships with people in ways we never could before.
RoadTwip has taken Jolie...and Kurt Daradics and Jonathan Dingman on a two week trip across Midwestern America. Partial genesis for the trip was curiosity surrounding a conference called BIGOmaha (which for weeks leading up to this, I read as BIGObama thinking it was some sort of social media, political rally mashup).
BIGOmaha says it's "bringing forward-thinking creatives, entrepreneurs and innovators to Omaha...to begin building communities, companies and friendships. We will inspire new thoughts and completely new ways of thinking. We will develop visions: personal, shared, and civic." Sounds lofty but hey it's a conference pimping itself.
Reflecting on originally hearing about BIGOmaha, Jolie wrote, "who in their right mind would have a conference in Nebraska? Eager to find out and to shed a bit of the obsessively insular NYC/SF/LA axis of evil, Jolie, Kurt and Jonathan created RoadTwip to find out what this flyover state business is all about.
Some of the group's finding? People outside NYC/SF/LA really have heard of this thing called the internet. And...shocker...they've even heard of (and use) Twitter...along with a lot of other social media tools. And they don't all wear trucker hats and overalls while chewing on a piece of hay.
If you follow @JolieODell, @KurtyD, and @Dingman on Twitter and read the RoadTwip blog, you just might experience an odd sensation that, yes, there are places to live outside the country's metropolitan areas and these places are filed with intelligent, interesting and tech-savvy people who, and this is very important, can offer an alternative to the endless echo chamber we all experience when we don't wander outside the confines of our normal day to day lives.
For you disclosure freaks, the RoadTwip banners on Adrants are unpaid. We just liked the idea and thought we'd get behind it.