Recently, while visiting with friends in New York and DC over intercession vacation, I started a round of informational interviewing in an attempt to learn from friends and some other nice folks. Now that classes are back in gear I thought I’d reflect on some of what I’d learned and also thank the people for sharing their time and experience with me. Hopefully this series will grow as I pick the brains of more interesting people.
The meeting I was most anticipating on this trip was with my friend Tamar Weinberg. Tamar and I go back to high school in South Florida, though when I got in touch with her recently I admit she remembered me a lot better than I did her- which was embarrassing and super flattering. She’s been terribly encouraging and generous through my exploration in the web space so far.
Tamar blogs at her own blog techipedia and also at a number of other blogs including SEroundtable, Life Hacker – where she’s the weekend editor, and sometimes over at her old gig 10e20. She also facilitated some awesome student activism at my high school last year, setting up a blog for people to voice concerns and raising the ire of the administration. When I met her in Riverdale she had just come from a meeting and was freshly groggy from 4am exploits the night before after the new Digg algorithm was released (Not that things seem to have improved much at Digg since then.)
Tamar has a mixed attitude towards her new found fame in the blogosphere. The notoriety she has found in the online social space seems almost to have caught her by surprise. Despite her rockstardom, she impressed on me the level nature of the playing field and insisted that the pieces fell together for her through luck, persistence, and the help of a few key people along the way. I’m beginning to get a welcome taste of the kind of openness she’s encountered across the social space from people with genuine interest in what she had to say in my own limited networking experience. Meeting with Tamar, the need to take risks and put yourself out there really stood out. Most people are willing to listen and share their experience, but with that comes the expectation that you be forthcoming with your own take on things as well.
Tamar certainly has dedication and experience in the social space and the humility to match it. Her narrative is really interesting and there’s little doubt we’ll all continue to benefit from her advocacy on behalf of the online community in the future and get to see her rise to still brighter achievements. Thanks for the advice and yummy lunch Tamar!