I just want to tell you just how awesome this was.
I was flying in blind. There was no videos of past events, it was an ecosystem foreign to me, in a city I’ve only had cause to be in a handful of times. So what am I to expect when I hustle myself downstairs to another failed city centre mall in the heart of Brantford.
I’d already done a quick promo the week before. Adam Hislop and Trevor Cherewka whipped down to Waterloo and met me for a late lunch at their local favorite, The Bauer Kitchen. 5 minutes off in a corner after the lunch rush and somehow they managed to make me seem coherent and marginally presentable.
And so, after the flurry of another awesome Ignite Waterloo, Tweetstock had arrived. While I didn’t know what to expect, I was happy to have some wingmen as past Igniters and #kwawesome co-horts Matt Scobel and Jason Dykstra were coming down to speak as well.
We were off to the races as Kevin Magee took the stage backed by AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and in full on rock and roll. These were his peeps and he was back by popular demand to once again deliver the goods. Rest assured the goods were delivered.
Let’s back up again. Kevin had come out to an Ignite Speaker workshop back in April with an idea to speak. The lone out of towner, he pitched an earlier version of his talk but I needed to know what someone from Brantford was doing here. Not in the “how dare your presumtion!” more a “what’s going in on Brantford?” My wife has been having a bit of a love affair with the city after working a maternity leave contract for a year. While the commute had killed any desire to extend her contract, she found herself in sync with the cultural vibe the city offered up. The city wore it’s heart on it’s sleeve, it drank, smoked and laughed, it gave you hugs in the office and told you “you did good today!” How could you not love this place? I wanted to know what the fuss was about.
Kevin’s a connector. Not long after coming down to the speaker workshop he brought along a small Brantford crew and attended our first Straight Up Scotch tasting event. Connections were made and suddenly I’m signed up to speak at Tweetstock. That’s how it works I guess. They’re not kidding when they say Peace, Love and Tweets.
So now I’m onstage, following Kevin Magee. Once again I’m dropped into the black hole, a temporal glitch that erases the six minutes I spend talking to the audience until I find myself stumbling off stage in a daze, blinking at the bright lights.
It was a great evening with a solid line up of speakers with lots of energy from the crowd. Despite the sweat lodge temperatures, which only made the ice cold beers that much tastier, how could you not like an event that featured a tray filled with Blow Pops?
Dave Carrol was fantastic. This guy exudes easy charm and a warm, funny graciousness. No surprise he’s the alter ego of Captain Kindness. Yes, he dresses up in tights and a cape, it’s a long story. He also helps lead “one of the most amazing churches on the planet called Freedom House.” It’s hard not to like this guy and he’s obviously an adherent of what he calls “Farginen” from the Yiddish, meaning “to open space, to share with others” You can check out his notes over at his blog.
Mark Laferriere. I think Jason Dykstra put it best in his tweet “Hey @MarcLaferriere … I want to know you” Named the most engaging social media candidate in the country, his community development model of campaigning got the nod from Obama Campaign Strategist Marshal Ganz. This man is tireless and I simply don’t have the space to list what he’s involved with. And then he mentions a “Tweetstock for Kids” and I’m hooked. Suddenly I’m wondering what shape something like this would take, how it could happen.
I could go on. Let me just say it was a pleasure working with Lucas Duguid, Trevor Cherewka, Adam Hislop, Andrew Macklin and everyone else who makes this event possible. Thanks to everyone I managed to talk to at the event and at the after party. You all rock. I can’t wait for Tweetstock 6