I got to the Hilton late and in a bit of a funk Wednesday morning while waiting for my favorite fool-proof blend of French roast Italian espresso to hit the brain. Just inside the door, about to climb onto the north escalator, I immediately bumped into a friend – we hugged, and I went on; once at the top of the escalator I bumped into another friend, this time ready for a brief conversation (caffeine infusing). Ten minutes later I bumped into yet another friend with whom I had some serious catching up to do. As we stood talking in the middle of the thoroughfare that is the Hilton’s 2nd floor lobby, we each caught the eye of other friends who then stopped to chat. Two of us, ostensibly strangers, suddenly remembered we’d had dinner together with some people about six years ago during the CAA conference in Atlanta – pleasant memory: much expensive wine had been imbibed that evening.
And so, in the twenty minutes or so that passed, two people chatting had fluctuated and morphed into various groups of three, four, then five, finally breaking off into twos before dispersing altogether. Temporary plans were done and undone, panel sessions suggested, meetings complained about, lunch plans cemented.
As I left, heading for the panel session I felt would be the perfect ice-breaker for the conference, I squeezed off a tweet – something about this conference blog with a link and the hashtag #CAA or #CAA2011. I thought about how twitter, more often than not, facilitates the online expression of what just happened in the Hilton lobby: people coming together, some strangers, some friends, exchanging information and leaving a trail of breadcrumbs: phone numbers, URLS, hugs. So here is a widget of all things #CAA. Please feel free to tag your own tweets as such where applicable, and thus contribute to this casual, ever-fluctuating group of acquaintances and friends.