Adventures in Mingling

It’s been a while, I know.  I have been busy.  Well, not THAT busy but when I haven’t been busy I needed a little computer separation.  There are only so many hours I can spend with my eyeballs on this thing.

But it was a big week.

On Monday, I attended the monthly NY Tech Meetup.  Love to see the cool things the (mostly super young) tech entrepreneurs are doing.  My favorite presentation was from VYou where people create video responses to questions that you pose to them.  Weird, but kind of cool!  There is zero chance I would actually participate or that anyone would want to see a video of me answering questions, but I could see how it could be an interesting tool for people in the “public eye” to promote themselves.  They have some baseball players using it.  Go to their web page.  It is just fun to look at the clips of people waiting for you to “talk” to them.

Post meetup, I forced myself to attend the after-party (alone because my tech meetup buds were not in attendance) and I made myself talk to three strangers.   I rocked it.  The first guy I struck up a convo with on the way to the bar.  I used the “do you know where the after-party is?” line.  He JUST graduated from MIT last Spring and got funding to launch an IPhone app called MessageParty.  It allows you to  “chat” on your phone with anyone who is “checked in” to the same event you are through the app.   He was very cute and VERY young.  He left after his first beer which allowed me to practice mingling.

I stood around uncomfortably, pretending to be “looking for a friend” until someone came up to talk to me.  Another nice fellow, the COO of an online food ordering business called Olo, which allows people to order food ahead of time and then go pick it up. (FYI for those interested, and you know who you are, Subway is one of their vendors.) He also has a friend who works for a tech startup related to education and gave me his card and offered to put me in touch with his friend (Networking!)

Olo moved on,  after the appropriate 5 minutes of chatting with me, and then I stood around looking awkward again until some dude waved at me and I joined his group.  We chatted for a bit about “cloud computing” and I then made the mistake of giving him my card so he could send me an article he is working on which was a mistake because I fear he was also hitting on me (and I was not interested.)

Then I decided I had met my goal of talking to three strangers, politely said goodbye to Mr. Cloud, and made like a banana and split.

I was QUITE proud of myself.  I usually make an excuse not to attend the after-party, but this is the new me.  Out and about with the people in 2011.  I am really not so bad at talking to strangers.  I had a little bit of trouble with finding people to talk to in a group and wrapping up the conversation politely, but once I am in a conversation, I am EXCELLENT at asking questions and keeping things going.  It was a huge success!

And that was just Monday.

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