Tonight I took 3 trains to get from Preston (North West of England for anyone out of the UK), to Northampton.
To pass the time, I was re-reading a career book I particularly enjoy, “How to Self Destruct. Making the least of what’s left of your Career.”
I was surprised when a man sat down next to me and spoke. Not least because a stranger spoke to me on a train (not very English,) but because he asked if that was Seidens book I was reading.
Further conversation revealed that he didn’t have any social media presence and nothing to do with H.R. He was in his 50’s and had been sent the book by a relative from the states, when he was going through a low point in his career, having been made redundant from a job he had been in for 35 years and aged 54.
Now I’m a big Seiden fan, but I was stunned to find another one outside of our circle. We had a good chat about the book, and i was able to show him the signed copy Jason sent me, and explained that I know Jason quite well on line, and that we had met at #HREvolution in chicago. I promised to pass on the thanks for some inspiration that had helped him to find a job in a field that he had always wanted to be in, but never thought was possible. He failed spectacularly and had recovered stronger, so thanks Jason for your great book. This was not a conversation I would have dreamt of on the 6.15 from Preston to Crewe. No where could be further from the world we inhabit most of the time.
The journey did not finnish there though. On my next train, from Crewe to Milton Keynes, I took a call in which I was discussing a tweetup I’d like to put on for Steve Newson, in his home town of Daventry. (Those of you who know Steve will know why.) A head popped over the seat in front and said “Sorry to overhear but did you mention tweetup? I’m quite active on twitter.”
I joined the conversationalist on the spare seat next to him. Within a few minutes I recognised him as uber-geek Christian Payne, better known as @documentally. Christian is the number one followed in Northampton, i’m number 2, so we exchange tweets from time to time. A one time photographer, Christian is now a real-time reporter that uses social media and technology to post live reports, video’s, blogs and updates on a whole host of things. He has recently returned from Kenya where he reported on gamekeeper’s training to fend off poachers, and less glamorous, from Milton Keynes, where he reported on an eco house for The Open University and a pre-election taxi interview with now Deputy P.M. Nick Clegg. He showed extracts of his work on the accompanying i-pad, as well as a presentation he had just delivered on Social Technology.
I was inspired by this conversation, which ranged from mutual connections to a hologram presentation he is working on which will enable him to present without being present. (And I thought I knew some geeks!). I’ve extended the invite to report on #truManchester, and hope a further conversation will confirm how this can be done. In a brief, chance meeting i’ve had my eyes opened wide to a whole new world of using technology.
I finally got to Northampton with my head buzzing with these conversations. I never thought I would ever describe a train trip from Preston to Northampton as an inspirational journey.
On arrival home, I was greeted with the tweet: “Just bumped into @BillBoorman on the train.. Heard him say “tweetup” on the phone. It’s like a geek password.” Very true!
Keep being ambassadors of your message, you never know where it will end up!