While attending Macworld 2012, I met John Gruber. I was waiting outside the men’s room in an upscale hotel lobby. I was not alone. Stephen Hackett, and Pat Dryburgh were with me. We were all waiting for Shawn Blanc and Ben Brooks who were attending a private get together in the hotel bar across the room. We should have been having a drink ourselves, but instead we were sitting on a sofa outside the men’s room looking rather lame. John Gruber on his way to said men’s room quickly commented on my Daring Fireball t-shirt before walking through the door. On his way back to the bar he came over, introduced himself, and thanked me for being a reader of Daring Fireball. After I returned the introduction, he told me he had visited Egg Freckles and considered linking to my site in the past. I said I was honored, I didn’t know what else to say. He kindly invited us back to join the group and have drinks at the bar. Introducing us as “look who I found over there by the men’s room.”
The moral of this story is that when you meet someone from the internet you admire, try to be cooler than a guy waiting outside the men’s room in a fancy upscale hotel lobby. At least buy yourself a drink. The people you know from the Internet are more interesting in person. Try to act the same.
For me Macworld 2012 was all about meeting new people. I didn’t come to see new products or hear the latest announcements. I know I am not alone. The Internet has replaced conferences as the way to get the word out. As events like Macworld reconfigure, it is important to remember their value is in the people who attend under a common interest, and not the wares, booths, or babes, that are the background noise of any show.