I recently got back from a little vacation. While I was driving, I'd say to my wife "Hey, I have a friend who lives near here. They are known as @SomeTwitterHandle." as we were driving through the area. I thought how great it was to be able to think of my many friends on twitter as I was passing by.
I live in High Point, NC and headed South, but not on I-85. If I did, I would have gone by the likes of @SQLSentry's gang and @SQLWayne. I went on US-220 south and some other routes to get to I-95. Here I was on a road that split the difference of the Kelly and Kelley of SC (@GunneyK and @KBrianKelley). I also passed through the state of @SQLVariant, @SQLCraftsman, and @codegumbo), but near ATL. Got into Florida and immediately thought of @BrianKnight as I cruised through JAX. As I got closer to MCO, I saw the exit that I had taken about a year earlier to get to an OPASS meeting where @SQLAndy was. And I thought of @SQLDBA as I zoomed past Disney an my way to our destination in Central Florida. We took an excursion to Busch Gardens (No Karaoke though) and I thought of @rushabhmehta, @Neilbu, and @SQLPoolBoy (especially when I was at Adventure Island Waterpark).
I mentioned at least a dozen tweeps. I probably didn't mention at least a dozen more. If I missed your name/handle, leave a comment - that will help build on the main point of this story. Since I was on vacation and focused on family time, I didn't reach out to any of these folks during the trip. But, I know that I could have. How did I get to know all of these folks? I got toknow them by reading their blogs, conversing with them via twitter, having dinner or a drink with them at a conference, or just tweeting.
As I thought through this post, I thought how lucky I am to be involved with such great people who all share a common goal - serving each other and growing the SQL Community. How can you get a network of really cool people like this? Get involved! How do you get involved? Attend your local SQL Server User Group Meeting; Attend a SQL Saturday Event; Read Blogs and get on twitter (#sqlpass #sqlhelp); Attend SQLRally and the PASS Summit or other events like SQLBits in the UK or SQL Connections. Soon, your spouse will also grow tired of you calling out twitter handles as you pass each city on your next vacation.