I’ve been doing web design now for nearly 10 years. Most of it was done from an office whilst working at a company. For 5 years, my web world was literally 10 people, all of whom worked at the same office.
Then one day I joined Twitter.
It took me a while to get into it. Finding the balance wasnt easy for me but I ranted about where I worked and I started to make tweets turn into followers…and more followers meant more people who knew the industry.
So for 2 years, I’ve been interacting with these people, talking, ranting and laughing at the web, the people in it, the redesigns, the new techniques and the latest meme. It’s been fun. I feel like I know these people. We all seem to get on and are out to help should we need it.
The web is cool like that.
And then a week ago. New Adventures happened.
This was the first time I saw the community in action outside of the internet. It was inspiring.
I’m quite a shy person to begin with but people were engaging (well most were but that’s another post for the future) and although we were chatting face to face, it felt like we were friends before we’d even met. Quite strange. It was here that I realised that I wasnt really alone and that we’re not all working against each other for work but rather we were all in it together and we were trying to make it work for all of us.
Now I’ve been doing some freelance in Manchester of late. I’d met a few guys before Naconf a few weeks back. We had a pint and pizza and it was nice. A one off maybe?
Anyway in Manchester, I was free for lunch. The agency I am at, I’m fairly new so being the shy guy I am thought I’ll just slip out and grab a sandwich. Then it hit me.
I knew a few people in Manchester. I wonder what they are doing. So I tweeted and @gablaxian responded (he always does) so we met for a pint and a chat. We did it 2 days on the trot. It was great. Someone I hardly knew took the time to grab a pint with me.
Last night, I went to a small do in Liverpool called BigSwig. I caught the train with another front end chap called @madebymagnolia. We met up with a load of other front enders from Liverpool/Manchester/North West. Again, it was like mates around a pub table.
This is turning into a long winded and boring story for many but the point I think I’m trying to make is that in my head, the community is a new and exciting thing. Obviously its been there for years, I just never took it to the next level.
I feel part of something now. I feel part of a community.