Look at all these beautiful faces.
This final tally of 15 takes me up to the fabled 150.
I have reached my goal.
This is THE END!
It feels oddly anticlimactic doesn't it? More of an epilogue that a climax. Let’s compare it to something in the zeitgeist so when I look back when I’m 70 all ‘What was I thinking!’ I’ll be able to culturally date it. This ending is like the end of Breaking Bad. The story going viral and the media frenzy was the Ozymandias episode. This is Felina. Subdued, quiet, neat. Ties up the loose ends.
It's quite fitting though I think. I never started this whole project aiming for any kind of recognition at all. I just thought it'd be a fun thing to do. Meeting these last few folk in the wake of the media frenzy was quite a nice return to a much more low key & happy chat with friends and strangers.
Tangent: I had to explain what A/S/L? meant to somebody last week. I mentioned in passing how it had just slipped quietly out of parlance once social networking really took a hold and they looked at me with a vacant stare that broke my heart. ‘What the hell is A/S/L?’ I can’t really blame them, A/S/L was a millennium ago in internet time.
This was one of the reasons I started this though. Back when A/S/L? was a thing almost all internet socialising was an engagement with a stranger, it always had that frisson of adventure, even more so when you took it out into the real world. Social networking has become so prevalent that it’s just a background hum. It’s no longer strangers or mystery; just a sideways glance at your family and peers hoping they’re not doing something cooler than you. Twitter was the first social network to recapture the thrill of strangers.
There is a bit of post-rationalising there. I just did it for a lark, but as soon as I started to meet people I wanted to try and use twitter to it's fullest potential; not to spam people, not to inflate my Klout score (*boak*), just to use a social network like it's supposed to be. The way I used it before social networking. When people would connect on forums and MSN and IRC without the backup of a social profile etched in stone.
So now what? Now I start working on the show. I should have some practice runs later this year, but will almost certainly be doing a run at the comedy festival early next year and make a video of the whole thing . Next week I'm going to put up a post profiling all the amazing people that I've met and in particular all the great stuff they've made. It's sickening & inspiring.
It means Age/Sex/Location? if you don't know. If you don't know, I probably hate you for being young.
I'm only kidding, I love you all.
Did I get my epiphany? No. But I did learn some things: Trains are too expensive. Strangers are almost always cool. The internet lets you take a stupid idea and make it a reality in a matter of minutes. Modern technology is amazing.
All the best stuff happens offline.
If you've started following me off the back of the news stories and you're all 'Man! What a jip! He's not meeting us all!?' don't fret too much. I'm going to attempt and carry on with the meetandtweets as a semi regular thing. Maybe a monthly update with a bunch of new folk each month. I'm not going to promise anything concrete because I've got an incredibly busy year ahead, but I've had so many cool messages from folk I'd love to chat to, so I should hopefully find some time. I will be in touch!
As far as the original project goes though, this is the end. The fullstop.
I, I promised myself I wouldn't cry.
Sincerely. Really huge thanks to everyone who took some time to say hello and come out and meet. Thanks for reading along with the story too. It's been such a fun adventure. I encourage everyone to do the same.
(& special thanks to: @dodson_review , @teenytinylisa, @jamieswb, @dan_phreak, @samuelbaker, @redeyetommy, @impyooo, @fitzhelen, @toomjourno, @betenoiresmash, @paddydineen, @angelicangela8, @johnsrichardson, @cello_anderson, @jonmarmstrong
I've been waiting to do a big montage of everyone since the start. Look at all these beautiful faces!