how to make introductions and be a good hostess in 140 characters or less

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I still remember walking around Hursley, following a fellow tweep who wanted to introduce me to some awesome IBMers he knew. What i did not expect, was for him to use my twitter handle, @eurydice13, as part of the introduction. I am grateful, because by finding me on twitter he may have literally saved my life. (thank you @andypiper – a story for another post, some day)

Years passed, social picked up some more traction, and next thing you know I want to introduce two people who I know should enjoy meeting each other… Except I can only do so on twitter!

Have you ever needed to introduce two people to each other but didn’t quite know how? And knowing both of them primarily through twitter, wondered how on earth would you do it in 140 characters or less!

There are a few basic principles of introducing people that every good hostess knows.

  1. The most senior person’s name is mentioned first, to demonstrate respect, and the second person is then introduced to them. Yes, this is old school.
  2. Part of the role of a good hostess, and host, is to make sure your guests have something to talk about. This is why it is common to make introductions that involve mentioning one’s job or interests. Typically, she will pick something either extravagant, amusing, or simply relevant to the other person as a “hook”. Sometimes it is even less covert, such as highlighting how one can be useful to the other.
  3. Something not all hostesses remember, however, is the trust factor. Every single person you know and have invited has gained access to your house. This introduction is a recommendation for them. Both of them. Given that their only link to each other really is you, it is useful to tell the – short – story of how you know each of them and what it is that makes them a great enough person to be your friend.

I firmly believe that the 21st Century will bring back the intrinsic value of real person to person relationships. And I intend to curate mine carefully.

As for how to do this on twitter and other social media. The same rules apply.

  1. Contact the more senior person and ask them if they would be interested in talking to the other person. Direct messages (DM), emails, inMails, and everything else that is private will do.
  2. If you’re certain they’ll hit it off, by all means, make the introduction publicly. But add a DM to whoever you’re introducing the new person to, so they’ll have more background information and something to talk about.
  3. Keep interacting with them both over the course of the next few weeks. If you’ve recently introduced them, it’ll be fresh in your mind. If something reminds you of them, pass it on and mention them both. This will give even the shiest of people an excuse to express themselves.

After all that, you can sit back and relax knowing you have done your duty and introduced two awesome people to each other. You can only hope that if when they get up to anything truly amazing, you’ll get a small “thank you” mention in their nobel prize / Oscar speech. “And lastly, I’d like to thank @eurydice13 for introducing me to…”