The Invisible Fish

On Wednesday, I’m scheduled to speak to a Meetup group here in Nashville. The talk will focus on how you can make yourself and your message heard, in a time when we’re seeing more noise than ever before.

It’s the idea of being a big fish in a little ocean.

But funny enough, when I do these things in Nashville, I find myself to be the invisible fish. Most of the people who attend have perhaps heard my name or read something that I wrote on TNW, but there’s a near 100 percent chance that I’ve never met them.

It’s that interesting conundrum of being slightly anti-social, combined with working from home. The buzz around my office is created by my wife, our dog and four pet rats. There’s also Tully, the fish. But he’s pretty silent.

Nashville’s technology scene, as it were, is somewhat sparse. There’s a huge social media “scene” – where everyone knows everyone – but the geographic restrictions of living miles apart leads to very few of us tech folks being in the same place at the same time.

That’s one of those unique advantages of living somewhere like San Francisco, New York or (for an extreme case) Boulder. When you put a group of entrepreneurs and tech folks within close proximity to one another, interesting things tend to happen.

I sometimes wonder what I’d accomplish if I worked in an office with my TNW folks. We’ve discussed the merits and downfalls many times, seeing as the whole of the editorial staff works remotely. We’ve generally come to the conclusion that we’d accomplish a lot of nothing.

But back to the subject at hand. I find a strange bit of irony in the fact that I, the person who probably knows fewer of Nashville’s tech people than anyone else, am going to speak to them about how to reach out, communicate and get their message heard.

You could, in fact, call it almost hypocritical.

But there’s a difference between your AFK life and the one that you live behind the monitor. Sure, you may be the same, genuine person no matter where you’re representing yourself, but the rules of the game change dramatically.

You can, in “real life”, be the invisible fish. Yet when it comes to your online persona, your message and what you have to say, it’s still entirely possible to be the biggest fish in the ocean.


Now read this

9-11 and the World I Used to Know

I was working in clubs at that time. After a late night, it was uncomfortably early when my phone rang. My wife of two months told me to turn on the TV. She said something big had happened in New York. 11 years have passed but it still... Continue →