Photoshop World (Washington, DC 2012) ended on March 27th and it was my very first PSW. I heard from a lot of instructors and attendees that this was “the best Photoshop World yet.” I spent a lot of time absorbing my personal experience and a thought hit me that could help explain why Photoshop World DC was so special for me.
There is no doubt all of the planning, preparation and hard work by +Scott Kelby and his incredible team are among the biggest reasons the convention was such a success. But I think that another very small difference from previous years helped to make my first Photoshop World special.
I’ve been very active on Google Plus
I love Google Plus. It’s allowed the photography community to grow and interact in a whole new way. It personalizes all of us in different ways than a blog. It humanizes all of us without the unwelcome minutia of a Facebook status update. It allows us to speak without the 140 letter limit of Twitter. It gives everyone a voice that can be heard and it also gives people like +Moose Peterson a way to speak back to us directly. And I think that gave Photoshop World attendees like me a brand new way to break the ice with each other.
“Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions on Google+”
The above sentence was the ice breaker that let me approach Moose Peterson and it led to a very inspiring conversation. Without an opening sentence like that I would have been stuck with something like “hi, Moose” or “I’m a big fan” and neither of those openers would have given Moose much to say back except possibly a “thank you”. Where can you go from there? But a previous interaction, even one as small as a single sentence in a comment stream, is enough to break the ice without the awkwardness of a true first meeting.
My favorite on air personality of the Grid shows me the way
The lovable and always helpful +Nancy Masse has been a direct link I’ve used to connect with countless people inside and outside of Kelby Media. Nancy, for those that don’t know, moderates the live stream every week for the Grid along with +Brad Moore, +RC Concepcion and +pete collins; they are an incredible team that is pioneering social interactivity during a live webcast. Through the Grid I’ve gotten to know a little about people like +Calvin Hollywood, +Alan Hess, and +Glyn Dewis. Top photographers like them and Moose Peterson take the time to participate most weeks.
Because of the live stream I started following a lot of people on Google Plus and I’ve even started to find a place in the circles of others. People like +Murray Parker took the time to add me to a circle here on Google Plus and we met in person at Photoshop World.
Nancy has helped me to see the potential of Google Plus (and other social media sites) and RC’s PSW classes about social media and creating effective websites are helping me to stay on course as I continue to be an active contributor.
I Attended Photoshop World Alone, But I Was Never Lonely
With so many new connections to attendees and instructors that developed through Google Plus I always had something to say to people who I had never met in person.
One great example is the photowalk that was organized on Google Plus by +Brian Matiash and +Nicole S. Young. That night I met RC, Pete and +Matt Kloskowski (along with a lot of other great people). From that moment forward I was treated like an established part of a group and this was still two days before the conference began.
Throughout the conference I recognized people and people recognized me. And while I was by myself throughout the conference I always felt like I was about to run into someone I knew.
So Where Do I Go From Here?
Photoshop World DC 2012 ended on March 27th and I met tons of people. I’ve already been added to almost 100 new Google+ circles (and that’s about a 20% increase for me) where people can learn more about me and how I like to spend my time when I’m not on a photo shoot, working some Photoshop magic or writing blog entries.
I see the potential of social media when it’s used properly and I don’t see an end for how it can influence, educate and inspire as we continue to connect with each other between Photoshop World conventions.
So I am now faced with this new opportunity to share a little piece of myself on this blog and on Google+. Photoshop World gave me a glimpse of what we can all become and now it’s time to take advantage of this golden opportunity so that my next Photoshop World can be “the best Photoshop World yet”.
(note: this is a reposting from a Google+ entry with changes appropriate to being here on my blog)