I commented on it saying that I hadn’t done an open Hangout yet. He responded by inviting me to one.
So I logged on and soon I was in a Hangout with 7 other people from such diverse places as Brazil, USA, Austria, Great Britain and of course, Canada. Actually, Mélanie, another participant, lives just 30 minutes away from me.
We chatted about Social Media snobs (Google in particular) Integral Theory, Outmoded business models and each other.
We had an IT Manager, Documentary Movie Producer, Business Consultant, Author & Organizational Psychologist, Photographer, Entrepreneur and School Crossing Guard. I was the only social media guy there – refreshing!
It was like a having kitchen party only at the UN.
I can’t believe that I had hesitated doing this before but I was uncomfortable jumping into a conversation with people I didn’t know beyond their avatars and profiles.
We can’t grow if we don’t stretch and move beyond our comfort zone. I was shy to jump into a public Hangout even though I’m totally comfortable speaking in front of groups of people and networking.
The difference here is that it’s personal. When you speak with someone face to face, there’s a level of intimacy that can’t compare to a text driven relationship.
You may have tweeted and exchanged comments on each other’s blogs for months. But when you can look into someone’s eyes and see their expressions, your level of investment and trust with that person is greatly enhanced.
I’ve written several posts about the business advantages of Google+ but it’s the personal satisfaction that I get from discovering new things i.e. Ken Wilber and Integral Theory, and new people that fuels my passion.
It’s the same way I feel about social media as a whole inasmuch as it enables people to be heard and to engage with each other.
In the end, it’s the level of pleasurable interaction with the social platforms that will drive business adoption.
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts.
A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus.
His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social".
Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.