Sometimes folks who work in coffee have a few tricks up their sleeve – outside passions that run the gamut from music to surfing, academia to journalism. For Batdorf & Bronson‘s Jason Dominy, one of his passions is connecting with folks he knows via social media in a real, meaningful way. It's called “Project #2Dto3D“, and there's something of a manifesto about it published on Mr. Dominy's Tumblr.
Let's pull an excerpt:
One thing that I’ve always believed in, as far as social media goes, is that social should always build social. It should never be the end to the means, but the means to the end. It should be used as a tool for communication and engagement, not a replacement for real relationships that can only happen with face to face time. Social media is a great tool for creating new friendships, but if that relationship is based solely on words typed into a Twitter tweet, or a Facebook status or profile page, a friendship it is not. It is an acquaintance.
I’ve always challenged myself to make as many of my social media relationships, or my “2D” relationships 3D, meaning I’ve always to use social media to facilitate building real community by interacting in real life with as many folks as I can that I know through Twitter or Facebook. It’s breaking me out of my own shyness and comfort zone. It’s about taking these avenues of social to the next natural level, and about building real community
In the weeks since Jason Dominy has launched #2Dto3D, he's had lunch with more than a dozen or so new friends, even hosting folks from around the country at his home in Atlanta. And it's an idea that's starting to spread, with more than a 100 Facebook likes in just a matter of hours and support for the idea coming from a wide variety of communities, not just coffee types.
Count us among those supporters. We think #2Dto3D is a really cool idea – there's something so sweet and genuine and anti-cynical about it. We sat down with Jason Dominy to learn more, unfortunately in a cross-country 2D format – we'll get some 3D time with him next week in Boston.
A lot of the coffee community engages online, including us here at Sprudge. Do you think it's time for folks to take their 2D relationships to the third dimension?
I do. I believe that any time you take relationships that are solely lived out through social media and make them real life relationships, you both win. Plus, hearing someone else tell their story is inspiring, motivating and challenging all at the same time. You have no idea how inspiring your story can be others and they have no idea how inspiring or challenging their story may be to you!
Do you think some of the more volatile relationships online would get along better in real life?
Yeah, for sure. It is well known that it's not very easy to understand tone and context in communicating when done primarily online, and many of the conversations that take place in coffee take place on places like Twitter, which is a horrible place for real dialogue and understanding tone. It's amazing how much easier and more respectful communication is when done face to face.
Where do you recommend meeting up with folks? Cafes? Bars?
I think coffee shops are a great place and a natural place for coffee folks, and also comfortable and welcoming to customers as well already. Plus, it allows for the ability for the coffee professional to share a little about their passion and craft and give their new friends some context for why they do what they do and how.
Talk to us about your #2Dto3D experiences thus far. Memorable moments?
Yeah, I feel very much enriched by them, inspired and motivated. It's been said that to be as passionate about things as you can be, surround yourself with passionate people, and there are tons of people out there doing amazing things passionately in your city everyday. One guy I met I was able to share with him why I was passionate about coffee, as he was already a big Starbucks fan. One experience introduced me to a guy whose wife actually teaches at the same school as my wife does, and it turns out we've got lots of mutual friends. One lady was born in the very same hospital I was born in. One guy was a huge beer and coffee fan, and now wants to come find out more about coffee at the Roastery. I mean, honestly, the stories go on and on. And I've learned that when my city becomes smaller, my community becomes bigger. And that's a special thing.
What's the end game, Jason? Where do you hope this project takes you?
I hope that I continue to see a more vibrant, loving, understanding and connected community. I know that this project has already for me and others, made Atlanta a better city to live in, a better city to live life out in. I hope that this continues to help me break out of my own shell and develop more healthy, real-life relationships out of my social media relationships. And I hope that in some way it helps others do the very same where they live, whether in Portland, Oregon or Poteau, Oklahoma.
Learn more about #2Dto3D here on Facebook.