I've just spent a nice relaxing couple of days in Daylesford in Central Victoria.
A lovely spot, I highly recommend it if you're after a bit of a reprieve from the rough 'n' tumble of city life.
There's an old-style pub on the fringe of town called the Farmers Arms Hotel.
This charming 1857 red brick establishment - the oldest hotel in Daylesford - is the perfect destination on a freezing winter's evening.
Sitting at the bar nursing a freshly-poured pot of Carlton Draught, it dawned on me this open and welcoming pub - about as 'offline' as you can get - had much in common with the Twitterverse.
Visit the Farmers Arms and this is what you'll find:
- A warm welcome by the ladies behind the bar (whether they know you or not).
- Robust conversation amongst locals and visitors alike, sometimes in their own groups but often chatter is between people who don't know each other.
- A real sense of community - people are genuinely interested in what others are doing - i.e. did you hear that such-and-such artist was highly commended in a major art competition, how's business going mate? - you get the drift.
- A high degree of trust - unlike most city pubs, the Farmers Arms doesn't take your credit card when you set up a tab; they trust you to do the right thing and settle up before you leave.
Much like Twitter.
Treat the Twitterverse with genuine respect and you'll be welcomed whenever you swing by online, much like entering the Farmers Arms bar. I've seen incredible acts of trust on Twitter between people who have never even met each other IRL (in real life).
Show up on Twitter (or at the Farmers Arms front bar for that matter), chat to people, show genuine interest; add value, hat-tip others and you too will become part of an incredible community of interesting - and interested - people.
This in turn will often lead to opportunities for employment, business and, importantly, friendship.