The Joy of Getting Seen

Photo by Steve Garfield of at Boston Media Makers on May 2, 2010

As we settle in for our seasonal relocation to Cambridge, Mass., I’m thinking of how many great things have come into my life over the past few months because of the Internet.  I’m taking as my text for this rumination a book published this year by my friend Steve Garfield, Get Seen: Video Secrets to Building Your Business (Click here for Kindle edition.)

Steve’s book is about how to get seen using video, which he knows something about, since he was one of the first bloggers to figure out how to put video on a blog.  He created Steve Garfield’s Video Blog on January 1, 2004.  I’m thinking about video this morning, but more broadly, I’m thinking about the joy of risking any kind of exposure using the powerful tools of the Internet.

Here is a sample of what’s happened in my own life lately because of getting seen:

1. Yesterday, for the first time, I met in person a listener of The Kindle Chronicles who in a Facebook comment offered to help with a project I’d started to provide Kindles to active-duty soldiers in Afghanistan.  Ken Clark and I visited for a couple of hours here at the house, planning next steps for E-Books for Troops, and sharing some more of our stories.  With his help as co-founder, my initial idea has already reached an entirely new level, with our filing yesterday to create a non-profit organization, and I’ve met someone with a keen interest in things I care about, from EB4T to all things Apple, to the joys of family and reading.

2. Before Ken arrived yesterday, I met here for two hours with Adam Weiss, a brilliant podcasting consultant whom I met at Boston Media Makers, an event created and hosted every single first Sunday of the month by Steve Garfield.  Adam has helped me create show notes pages for my two podcasts, and yesterday he took me deep into the bowels of GarageBand to tweak the audio quality of the shows.

3. Podcasting about the Kindle and e-books has been fun, but the best part has been meeting listeners and fellow pioneers in the Kindlesphere.  My current posse includes Stephen Windwalker, Andrys Basten, Bufo Calvin, and Abhi.

4. The Reading Edge Facebook page is like a club I created in a tree house, where there is always someone hanging out that I want to visit with.

You get the idea.  I had friends and a life before the Internet, but in the past few months (and years) the connections I’ve made go way beyond what I could have imagined in normal hours.  I’m also pretty much of an introvert, which makes the Internet a comfortable way to begin getting seen.  You sit in a room with your laptop or iPhone or iPad and you type stuff, or upload video, photos, or audio.  You are alone at the same time you are connecting.  Perfect.  And if you keep it up, sooner or later the virtual images of people will lead you to being in their actual presence, at a PodCamp or your own living room.  You will be amazed at how your life can unfold.

It’s IT takes getting seen to really see what’s out there. There’s genius in it, and many possibilities to make a difference.

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