NYE @ Arab Street Tweetup was amazing, and I think it epitomized everything I love about social media. It had everything – spontaneity, great conversations, new friendships – it was just awesome. And before I go on, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made last night happen. Jerrick, Ivy, Justin Lee, Justin Ng, Hisham, Michael Cheng, Nicole, DK, Shawn, Jean, and everyone else who stopped by. I had a great time.
Here’s what happened. A few days ago, Jerrick and I were talking on Twitter. He’s back in Singapore for the holidays, and we were saying that we needed to catch up before he left again. Off the top of my head, I threw out the idea of doing something for New Years Eve with the other local social media people. Jerrick then retweeted the idea, and Ivy came across his retweet, and said it was a “great idea”. The three of us then started discussing what we should do, and by the next day, we decided (Ivy’s idea) to go hang out at Arab street for dinner, drinks and the like.
So, we created a twtvite and sent it out. People responded, and two days or so later, at the event, we had about 10 people show up. After dinner and some drinks, we decided to head to Hackerspace Singapore, for more conversations. And let me say, Hackerspace is awesome. They have a great idea, great beliefs and ideals, and I really hope they do well. But more on that another day.
Back to last night. We went to Hackerspace, and just hung out and talked. For something like 8 hours. In between that time, more people joined us, some left at various points in the night. But all in all, a group of us were there until 7 in the morning. We did a countdown, we talked about everything. From what social media meant to us individually, to our thoughts on how Singapore is like at the moment, to random conversations about toilets.
But it was great. Just hanging out, and having a great time with friends, filled with great conversation and discussion. I can’t think of a better way to start the new decade. Before yesterday, I had not met half of the people who were there before. By the end of the night (well, the morning, to be specific), I had made new friends, and I had had a night filled with great conversations, with really smart people.
So yes, that, in a nutshell, is why I love social media, and what I think it should be about. It’s what I’ve missed the most while I was on hiatus. Conversations, community and friendships, with a dash of spontaneity. We get so caught up sometimes worrying about how to monetize our blogs, how to build a reputation, how to further our personal brands, etc (and yes, don’t get me wrong, those things are important, in context), that we forget the social aspect of social media. And I think we need to always remember that.
At the end of the day, social media is about people. At least, that’s what I think.
What do you think? What is social media to you – and what do you like, or not like, about it?
Photo by mhisham