Well, one of the reasons anyway. We often see articles by so called 'experts' claiming that Google+ is a ghost town. As someone that has been using the platform since beta, I can't share that sentiment. I've met so many awesome people in here, online and offline. It's quite influential that a big percentage of my life actually revolve around the platform. This is something that I can't replicate in other social platforms. This is a brief recap of my offline experience recently.
It's been about a month since I returned from my trip to Indonesia, Singapore, and a short layover in Tokyo. Every time I go out of town/country, I like to contact a few people that I regularly interact on G+. See if they want to meet up for a coffee or just hang out. Below you can find a brief story about how I started my interaction with them, and my experience of meeting these amazing individuals.
I first interacted with within the Android Collectibles community here in G+. He buy blank Android minis and customize them with his creation, usually in limited quantities. I told him before my trip last year that I would be be in Tokyo for a short layover, and ask him if I could personally pick up the Kit Kat Android mini he was selling. So I met him for lunch.. He was also kind enough to show me where to find some exotic flavor Kit Kats and took me around town. If you're into Android mini, make sure to follow him to follow his creations.
and I have known each other since early last year in G+. We both added each other, but we didn't talk much. Most of the time we just coolly plus one each other's post. In real life it's probably the same as two guys passing each other saying 'sup' and nothing else. He was coming to SF from Jakarta for a conference last year and asked me if I'm interested in meeting up. It turns out that he's doing a lot of projects that I'm also interested in. When I was in Jakarta he invited me to visit his communal working space and talk with a few startups. He also invited me to give a talk about Google Glass to a bunch of people.
I know and from the IT Indonesian Community in G+. Living in US for so long, I don't really know anybody on the tech community in Indonesia. The community is pretty engaging and they sometime do meetups, whether it's in real life or using video Hangouts. I was able to met both of them one evening for a small and meetup while I was in Jakarta. It was quite a short meeting, but we had a great time trading ideas and knowledge. Hopefully next time I'm in Jakarta we can have a bigger meetup.
I always like to tell the story about how I met . He's my first HIRL (Hangout In Real Life), when the concept of HIRL wasn't that common yet. This was way back in December of 2011, when I was working from Singapore. Bored, I opened my tablet and start browsing G+ posts using the 'Nearby' feature. It basically showed the posts that are tagged with locations around my area. I happened to see Evan's post and wrote some comments. He quickly noticed from the mutual friend list that I know his coworker in Mountain View, and his brother in law that went to the same school as I did.Now, whenever I'm in Singapore I always contact him to see if he can grab some dinner or just hangout.
I know . around the same time as Evan through G+, but we didn't meet until about a year ago. He's an avid cyclist and foodie. Although not very active in G+ these days. he still drop by once in a while to my posts. When I eventually met him, he took me to a bike rental to explore the city. Singapore is a beautiful city, but it's quite more fun to see if while biking. We were going to go again on my last trip, but I got sick and had to cancel. He is actually in San Francisco right now for work, and we've been having great time going around the city and biking and Golden Gate park.
I can't recall how I started interacting with and . Somehow we just added each other and started talking to each other. It's probably sometime when Diablo 3 was launched. Wilfrid and Cynthia are both passionate gamers. Wilfrid even helped me a few times when we play Diablo 3 and Marvel Heroes. I've met them a few times during my visit to Singapore, and on my last visit they took me hiking. I told my friends and family about it and they were surprised that you can actually hike in Singapore. Definitely a fun experience.
Same with . I couldn't recall when we start interacting with each other, but she's probably one of the most friendliest person I've met so far (not only on G+). I've met her a few times during my visit to SG, and she always have exciting stories to share. She's also a very active Ingress player. Too bad we're on different faction :)
I didn't realize it was going to be this long. I tried to make it shorter, but I feel every single sentences are important to express how I feel about them, and about G+ in general. I consider myself an introvert, and don't usually like to meet with strangers. These people I mentioned above weren't strangers even before we meet in real life. I've been following them on G+ beforehand, so there was no sense of awkwardness when we finally meet n person. Having common interests definitely help. It's definitely a new experience and out of my comfort zone.
But I can definitely get used to it.
Tagging a few people that might be interested:
An article for maybe ? :)