Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tweetup In An Elevator

I was reading through my RSS feeds earlier this morning and I came across this great post by Jeff Pulver.

On Monday afternoon, Jeff unexpectantly found himself part of a 75+ minute tweetup in an elevator, at the New York Times. Jeff was at the offices to attend a discussion on social media and the Haiti Disaster (which incidentally was really good according to Jeff). Andrew Rasiej, founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, moderated the discussion and a number of Jeff's friends were there as speakers; including Ann Curry from NBC News and the Today Show, Rob Mackey who is a staff writer The New York Times, Erik Parker who is a journalist that was in Haiti when the earthquake struck, and Jason Cone who is the Communications Director for Doctors Without Borders.

Following the meeting, Jeff was chatting to Ann Curry as they made their way, with 9 others, to the elevator. Without too much thought the 11 passengers boarded the elevator on the 15th floor and awaited the short ride down to the lobby. The doors closed, and their decent commenced. Oddly though, the elevator missed the lobby by about one and half feet below the lobby. What transpired then couldn't have been scripted. Jeff found himself trapped in an elevator with what he describes as
an amazing cast of characters. The group included: Ann Curry; Jennifer Preston, Social Media editor of the New York Times; Geo Geller, Jeff's friend who documented the experience; Ann Blinkhorn, an executive recruiter; Phil Thomas DiGiulio, Co-founder of @pegshot; Alex Howard, Associate editor at; Todd McCarty the new Senior Vice President of Human Resources at the New York Times and just a single individual wished to stay anonymous.

The alarm was immediately sounded and building maintenance confirmed they were on the way. What surprised Jeff most was that almost just as quickly, the cameras came out and photos and video were captured. Although signal was bad Jeff was finally able to tweet "Stuck in the elevator with @anncurry @geogeller @holaphil and 5 others in New York Times building." Jeff also commented that
the conversations in the elevator were fun and enjoyable, and the experience turned into a pretty amazing and unplanned tweetup and a chance to get to know a bunch of people whom I would never would have otherwise had a chance to spend time with. 75 minutes passed and the doors opened, and everyone went back to their various tasks and chores.

When Jeff woke up yesterday morning he was a little startled to read about his experience in Gawker. Further to this, the story took on and even more surreal feeling when Ann told the story in the opening of the Today Show by sharing the video captured by @holaphil.

If this isn't a clear indication of the level of interconnectivity that we now have as a society, I don't know what is. While people may not know each other in person, may not have a clue what someone else does or even looks like, there is a common thread connecting us. A kind of digital shadow that allows us to all share our experiences and become part of something larger. I think it's safe to say that it is an evolution of the human condition, facilitated by technology.

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