Friday, November 23, 2012

Cool Things My Friends Do: Melissa Lombard - The 5 Year Project

Each Friday on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their work and personal lives. 

I met Melissa Lombard at the Blogathon ATX event in September 2012.  However, I already knew about her because of an interesting project that she had begun on her blog.  When Melissa moved to Austin earlier this year she started writing about the cool new people she was meeting in town.  Many of the people she had profiled were friends of mine, and the project had crossed my path.  I immediately found it to be a great idea, as connecting with new people in a strange city can be difficult.  By intentionally interviewing people in the community one can quickly get a better feel for the personality of a town, while making new friends along the way.

She formalized her networking coffee chats into what she calls "The 5-Year Project".  Her goal is to meet one new person each week for coffee and blog about what she learns about their life and career.  While a busy life does not allow her to do it every week, she has reached "17 Cups" since June (which is ALMOST every week!!!).  -- Oh, and I was number seventeen.

Melissa is onto something very cool, thus why she featured in this week's "Cool Things My Friends Do" post.  Imagine the treasure that her blog will be at the end of five years.  That will get her to around 250 interviews with an eclectic group of people.  Her unique style of diving into what makes a person "tick" will make the collection of posts into a more that a "Whose Who", but instead a tapestry of personalities that keep Austin weird.

Whether you live in the Central Texas region or not, take the time to scroll through the posts on her blog.  She has had coffee with some very interesting Austinites, and it is a good way to realize who lives in our city.... as we often forget it is not just the people who live and work in our own silos.

If you ever relocate to a new city, I suggest you take this idea and repeat it in your own style.  It is a cool way to get to know folks anywhere.  Kudos to Melissa for a great idea!!

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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