When someone asks you the ubiquitous question, “What do you do?” what do you say?
As I recently commented on Stuart Foster’s blog, I explain I am an astronaut. Fact is, when I’m in a setting with people who don’t live and breathe social media to the extent I do and start using terms like “online community management” and “Twitter engagement,” I usually get blank stares. It doubles when I say I wear t-shirts and pajama bottoms all day, for they have an image I’m unemployed. Not quite.
Sometimes, people do understand what I’m talking about–but because I’m talking about strategies and concepts and not business product lines, they usually nod and ahh and then change the subject to something they can relate.
Connie Bensen relates to me. She gets what it means to be an astronaut.
We first “met” last year via the Social Media Today community when she and I opted to syndicate our blogs and engage in dialogue with each other and other bloggers on the niche site. Connie is a community strategist with Techrigy–a web monitoring firm–and she writes about such geeky topics at conniebensen.com.
Connie and I met for the second time–though the first time in person–Tuesday for lunch, an activity we planned in advance via Facebook messaging. I attended the Enterprise 2.0 conference as a member of the media, and Connie was a speaker.
We hit it off instantly, as if we’d known each other for months. Which we had.
Which leads to astronomy. One by one, other Enterprise 2.0 attendees, seeking tables and chairs to eat lunch, sat at our table and we engaged each other in small talk. Most of the folks we spoke to were enterpreneurs of this or that startup company–people who spoke the language of business very well; marketing and social media, so-so.
In an act of surrealism, the new lunch mates asked Connie and me the question that leads off this blog post. We answered. They must have thought we worked together, for she and I gave similar answers. And–they finished their lunch and moved on, while the two social media astronauts remained.