March 19, 2013


man on laptop screen 500x335 Photoxpress_1371969Your favorite songs: did you first hear them live in concert or as a recording? Your favorite  actors: did you see them live or on a screen?

Maybe your first impression was negative. Songs like Bohemian Rhapsody and Stairway to Heaven might take time to grow on you.

Repetition overcomes initial reactions. As your familiarity grows, doesn’t your desire for a live encounter grow too? The liking starts building trust even though you’ve never met.


Just because you want to meet someone doesn’t mean you’ll ever get the opportunity. Maybe you’d like to chat with Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Twain or Steve Jobs. They’re gone but live on because we still see what they did. And what they did mattered.

Easier Than Ever

These days, it’s easier than ever to reach out to people who were inaccessible before. We can follow them on Twitter and if they follow us back, we can send direct messages that might get a response. If they blog, we can leave comments, get known and start a private conversation. Maybe someone in our network can make an introduction.

“Regular” people are easy to reach via a quick web search.

The First Impression

Michael Apted’s Up Series (Wikipedia) says that if you look at a child, you see glimpses of the adult too. The past leaves clues about the future.

When you first meet someone, you see their public face. You can’t trust them unless you’ve seen them online before and they’re congruent with your expectations.

You can have an impact on others in the same way: create an advance expectation that you match in person. To do this, you need content online that improves with time. The visible evolution is important.

Your Body Speaks

Your visible body of work speaks for you when you cannot. If you're invisible, you're at a disadvantage to someone who has the courage and foresight to put themselves on display even when they knew they weren't perfect.

If and when you do meet your “pen pal” in person, you already “know” each other. There’s anticipation and more to talk about. Doesn’t that help solidify a relationship that already started?


PS Live encounters are important but expensive and limiting.

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