I can’t believe I head out tomorrow for Manhattan and Jeff Pulver’s 140Conference.  When Bob Watson asked me if I was interested in being on the Real Estate Panel back in January while we were at Inman I was flattered, honored, and really had no idea what to expect.  Someone wanted me to talk about two things I love – Real Estate and Social Media? If those two things can be put together I will be there.

I am a Social Media junky. I recently reflected on what got me here, and where I would be if I had not taken a “tech hiatus” since 2001 (when I “retired” from Web Development).  While reflecting it got me thinking about what I really enjoy doing, and that realization was that I LOVE sharing my expertise in Real Estate and experience in Social Media (I won’t dare call myself an expert, I don’t think anyone can be an expert in something that is being redefined minute by minute).

I look back on my path – from a BBS in 1980, to getting in trouble for “phreaking” in 1983, to my friends who went to Prison, or got busted by the Secret Service, and the things I have seen, the hacks, the phreaks, and more.  I kept all these things to myself, and I still do.  I have lots of secrets I keep for my friends, most are over 15 years old now, since I stepped out of that arena in 1994. To today, with Twitter, Facebook, and beyond (I favor Twitter, I love the connections).

I always passed as a “normal” person, I had “cool” friends, while hiding the “geek” inside. I learned quickly that my Bloomingdales “Video Club” sweatshirt was not cool, and never wore it to school again. I adapted, I was a chameleon, I hid it well.  I wish I didn’t, I wish I let the inner geek flag fly, but it gave me an interesting perspective, and still does. I GET it. I don’t always let on that I GET it.  I would much rather be underestimated under most every circumstance.  A cute smile and a hair flip and you aren’t a threat, I get people. That works.

Now I see the light, and I know what I want, and am so proud of where I came from, and the history I have, the experiences I share with so many others, some are now the leaders in this industry, the innovators, the great thinkers. I want to compare BBSs with them, compare which “codelines” they called, where they got their calling card numbers and where they called, what was their first computer language they programmed in, how many did they know, Pascal or FORTRAN.  This is also with thoughtful consideration of those fallen, those who got caught, did “time”, or were cut off in their prime and not permitted back.

I remember one friend who rented his car monthly, with the money he made from calling his own 900 numbers as he drove from truck stop to truck stop, and when he drove us around in his car, there were dollar bills everywhere, stuffed into everything.  The story is involved, but ended with prison for him.  He took the dive for the others; I was just the “girlfriend” of one of the involved parties.  If you know this story step up, you have to be inner-circle to know it.

I am not really sure how many people would want to truly step forward and discuss their first 2600 meeting, or the first “meet-up” they went to in the early 1980’s.  Is it cool yet to be a geek? I don’t know, but I will step up and say “Yes I was, Yes I am, What’s next?”.

I love this stuff. Oh the stories I could tell. But I won’t.  Does anyone know what the statute of limitations is on such things? Not for me, but for my friends. 😉

Someday I might expand this. Maybe. Oh the fun.

Looking for Keepie, Cowboy, and more of my old friends…

If any of this connects with you, come say hi to me at the #140conference this week.  I look like my Twitter Avatar, so I am not hard to find. =)