As last night's quiz proved, I'm not a Tube expert. Seriously. This also surprises people. I am not a trainspotter, I have very little interest in the in's and out's of rolling stock, I don't take pictures of trains for the sake of it, I don't have a favourite Tube station. There's nothing wrong with people who do any of those things - it's just not me.
Anyway, I digress. My friend Rob from Qype (who I've known virtually since 2003 & first met in the flesh in 2004) interviewed Lloyd Davis (my blogging busker friend - I've still not done the notes from my interview & photoshoot with him - d'oh - he is always so nice about this whenever I apologise to him) and this is why I sometimes like meeting people offline.
I like blogging about the Tube. I'm nosy. I'm a people watcher, always have been, always will be. It's the social situations on the London Underground that I am very interested in. If that amounts to being obsessed by the London Underground, then you can say I am obsessed.
A number of my closest friends are people that I "met" initially online. All the companies that I work for know that I blog. They've all respected my wish for anonymity for which I am very grateful. Lately people have been trying to find me on Facebook. I don't update my page there much and don't have Facebook friends. It would simply take up too much time to blog AND maintain an Annie Mole page plus the one for the real me.
I like that my blog has finally started to become interesting to the public transport "establishment" TubeLines, TfL (they read it every day - although have never contacted me officially - I'm not "on message" surprise, surprise), CBS Outdoor (the guys that sell the Tube's advertising), the MD of a Rail Replacement Bus Company, and of course the fab London Transport Museum. The Times (rather surprisingly) list me as one of their best 50 business blogs. The blog allows me to be like "Harry Tuttle" in the video above & operate outside the establishment, bureaucracy & the mainstream media and yet still hopefully have some influence there & get things done.
Internet guru, Clay Shirky said if you talk to someone long enough online, you usually want to meet them in the flesh. He was asked what social tools were good to foster this and said "plane tickets & beer". We didn't need the plane tickets last night but there was plenty of beer.
Meeting people offline is usually great fun for me, but only if they're not going to talk about rolling stock all night!