No, I didn’t just happen to bump into my favorite superhero, Chris Brogan, at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.  Our chance meeting occurred via the modern, social media serendipity engine, Twitter.
Chris Brogan was in Paris speaking at Le Web and I was home in The Hague, still feeling sorry for myself for missing Le Web.  Late Saturday night after a completely offline day, I quickly jumped online and noticed on twitter that @chrisbrogan had just arrived in Amsterdam.  I replied to ask if he would be speaking at any events the next day or if there were any opportunities to meet him.  Chris Brogan is mentioned in hundreds, thousands of tweets every day, so I didn’t expect a reply.  It was nearly midnight.
He immediately sent a Direct Message to say he was just passing through the Netherlands, but would be happy to meet me for tea at Schiphol Airport in the morning.  I won’t pretend that I kept my cool, I was shocked and shaking!
Chris talks about twitter and other social media tools as a serendipity engine.  With these tools, each of us can create our own unique online and offline experiences and opportunities by connecting with the people and movements that appeal to us individually.  Maybe you’ve never even heard of Chris Brogan, but you probably have a favorite performer, sports hero or author that could make you shake in your boots if they reached out to you personally?
I became a Chris Brogan fan a year ago when he wrote about how to make your blog suck less in the New Year.  I printed it, hung it on the wall and vowed to do just that.  (Sucking less is a never ending goal, so I will definitely renew this vow in the coming year.)  Chris Brogan’s Blog is the ultimate resource.  He delivers a stream of  daily insight on connecting with people through social media in a human and authentic way.  Trust Agents, is the NY Times Best Seller he co-wrote with Julien Smith.  It is not widely available in Europe, but I recommend it every chance I get!  Trust Agents answers the “why” for skeptics who still don’t get the value of  social media and it explains the “how” to build your online reputation.
Chris Brogan is the ultimate regular guy, there is nothing slick or cheesy about him.  He writes and speaks from his heart and he is genuine, no doubt.  Most importantly, Chris Brogan walks the walk.  Some “experts”, like Robert Scoble, say that Chris Brogan is doing it wrong on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; because he follows, friends and connects with people reciprocally.  He is not in it just to accumulate fans.  Chris Brogan actually uses these tools to facilitate conversation and the volume of conversations he holds daily is astounding!  He is more active than a bot.  When you see him in action, you can throw your, ” I’m too busy excuses,” out the window!
Chris Brogan was so generous with his time!  Two others joined our impromptu meet up at Schiphol and  he spent 2 hours chatting with us. (My expectation was about 20 minutes.)  He is also very humble, demonstrated by his message that he’d be wearing a blue shirt (as if I wouldn’t recognize him).
As I said good bye to Chris Brogan, I told him that a few days earlier, he had already made my day with a simple 3 word @reply on twitter.  I never dreamed that 48 hours later I would be racing to Schiphol (by invitation) to meet him.  That was icing on the cake.
So, how will I make my blog suck less next year?  I’ll start by following Chris Brogan’s example; reaching out to connect with people, sharing, helping when I can, and simply saying hello and thank you more often.  How about you?
Inspiration for thinkers, starters & doers