As you would have read previously, I went to the #SocAdl meeting-of minds on Tuesday, 3rd Nov 2009. With neither expectations nor presumptions, I went along to the Tivoli hotel in Pirie Street simply hoping to meet some new people. The only agenda I had was to attempt to attend both the #SocAdl and #TheStartUpClub meetings being held on the same night! Having attended the #TheStartUpClub meetings previously, I figured I had a good chance of fulfilling this, yet didn’t want to limit any conversations by having to look at my watch every five seconds.
I got to the Tivoli around 5.30pm, straight from a long day at work. Tonight was the first time EVER for me to be inside the Tiv’, though I have noticed that it has had a massive hotel built behind it over the last few years. Fairly obviously the hotel has been totally revamped, from it’s website through to the interior decorations … and I must say the interior is pretty darn good! Gold and black mostly, with a plethora of mirrored balls hanging over one section. (How many of you noticed that?)
Upon arrival there were very few people – and none that I knew. So I sat down to start texting my observations of the evening. The italicised section below is my thumbed notes upon my Apple Touch. Mostly as is, linked to add emphasis.
Not sure which of this crowd are the #Twitter mob. And not on the mood to talk with anyone – it’s been a long day. Tempted to try my luck with one of the two groups congregated at the bar. Have spotted people who seem to have the same problem. Sometimes I can se benefits in having an Apple iPhone. At least then I could google or do a search on the few faces to see if I recognise anyone!
I might have to bite that proverbial bullet, then go over to introduce myself. Considering that I normally consider myself an extrovert, I am not looking forward to this, despite wanting to meet and greet with new people. There is lots of new introductions going on – so I can only presume that these people are also meeting for the first time.
Yet here I sit tiptapping away at my Apple Touch wishing I had the gumption to stand up and talk to them. I’m suddenly remembering why I dislike pubs: the noise. Like a can full of monkeys, the din in here is getting louder and louder. I don’t know how much longer my ears can tolerate this barrage. Lots of smiling faces, men swilling down beer (As am I!), women enjoying white wines and semi-incoherent flibbertigibbet.
Some days I enjoy being wallpaper, it enables me to observe the interesting tribal habits of humans. Most people seem to like to congregate: somehow I enjoy being a soloist in all senses of the word.
Well , I came, I watched, I endured. Sorry, I got some strange vibe from the room. Maybe I am in the wrong room. Maybe this is a business function. There is some comfort in recognising faces. I’m going to finish my beer and do what another guy just did: Leave. Thankfully there is another function at HigherGround. Or I might get lucky and spot someone I know. Is that @charlierobinson or just a lovely smiling face at the bar? Yes I am married , but I am not dead!
My beer is still half full. Do I skull or do I sip and eat h and endure? I have been doing data-entry work all day, so I know endurance. In any case, the music tolerable, the cacophony is interesting (though deafening). So glad I heard a report last night that says beer is good for me. Whilst I would love someone recognisable to look my way, I am beginning to realize that I am nought but the wallpaper around me.
Wait a minute, OMG! That IS @charlierobinson approaching me…
And that is where my thumbed notes ends! Within minutes I was sitting outside on the roadside with Charlie, Lee Hopkins and about 15 people, most of whom I cannot recall the names to the faces. I’m quite sure I’d remember the faces if we met again, or at least I hope so!
My first introduction was to a guy whom I’d seen running around the bar moments earlier. He had a funny dance routine that made Little Britain look quite tame (Yes, I am exaggerating for the laugh!), was quite loud in his mannerisms, and ended up being quite a cool frood.
Lee Hopkins was adamant that he was NOT the ‘leader’. From here everything go a bit blurry as I consumed two $3 beers
Despite not stating the purpose nor reason for the group of entrepreneurs to meet regularly, within moments there was talk of a T-shirt, a #twitter-hashtag (#SocAdl) and talk of future meetups. Not all bad considering the possibility of more beer outside Adelaide brothels. (Apparently it’s true, across the road from where we sat was a brothel. I’ve lived here 25years and never known that!)
The young lady to my right (Jess??) tried thrice to convince Lee to do a round-circle introduction so we all knew our faces and names. But Lee had the floor, the arms and the voice: Nothing was stopping him now, he had the support of a parked car that was willing him forward, gesticulating to all that listened, (including pedestrians with name-tags and flowers), so introductions didn’t happen till 30mins into the conversation.
Upon hearing about the employment and business-association between many of the attendees, I was humbled. Some hold jobs that make my govt job seem menial… wait, it is. Some held jobs that I dreamt of having many years ago. And those a few years older than me made me realise that I didn’t have to settle for where and what I am today. Which is always a good thing to hear and realise. So I was in good company, and will continue to stay involved!
Charlie waved her hands about regularly: This appeared to be her way of communicating. It worked, we were listening. Between her and Luke, I captured two important quotes for the evening:
1. Credibility is important.
2. Adherence to standards.
The best I can recall is that these refer to the way we present and project ourselves when communicating with others online: Twitter, Facebook, and Ning and other forms of communication need to present our entrepreneurial business sense, and not too much nonsense. I like this idea, though do admit that the opportunity to occasionally use nonsensical and humorous cynicism to describe the world around is a great to vent about our day, work and experiences.
About this time, we started talking amonst ourselves. I explained to Lee that my passion in life is Photography – and showed him the camera I had brought with me. His eyes lit up and asked for a portrait shot. I was only too happy to oblige. With his ideas and my love of portrait work, his smiling mug was put inside the Tivioli (against a black wall at the South-East corner of the bar), and now is paraded upon Facebook! I hope he likes the handiwork I did on the image to make his face ‘pop’ from the screen!
After capturing his binary image, I consumed my third and final pint of beer for the evening, excused myself and headed off to catch some of the “TheStartUpClub” at HigherGround whom also were meeting that night. Though knowing I had promised to take another portrait shot for a friend, I really wish I had stayed on at #SocAdl. From the photographs I have since seen of the people, I can see it was an enjoyable evening!
Here endth my minutes of the minutes I spent with the interesting people of the newly-formed #SocAdl group. If you are from Adelaide and think you might enjoy being involved, you can now find us at socadl.ning.com/.
Yes, this is not a photograph of the Tivoli Hotel! This is the Earl of Aberdeen, another fantastic pub in Adelaide.