Taking a vacation in public.
While I was on vacation last week I made a conscious effort to do so publicly, using social media, primarily Twitter and foursquare. Part of it was selfish, wanting a linear record without taking copious notes (although GalPal and I did buy a notebook for personal use and found recording more private thoughts between the two of us in that was loads of fun). Part of me wanted to see how people would react. I was afraid some might get hostile, or annoyed at reading about our fun times while they were working in their cubicle, or that some folks might complain that I posted too much. I tried to counter the latter fear by making sure I didn't flood feeds and that what I did say had something slightly entertaining within. My biggest surprise though was how little had to worry about people getting annoyed at all.
In fact a dialogue sprang up. Some folks wanted to make recommendations, some folks just wanted to talk about what I was doing at that time, some folks just wanted to share their own stories, and some folks even took conversations that started with my updates off into their own threads. In the end my experiment succeeded beyond my expectations. It seems as if the people that actively follow me enjoyed engaging in my vacation adventures, and in fact actually helped to enhance them with their conversation. It was a blast.
Now I don't recommend this for everyone. At first I was queasy about actively posting we were out of town, but since a friend of ours was kind enough to house-sit for us i knew our place was being watched so I wasn't worried about unsavory types making mischief (or off with our belongings). Second, if all you're going to do on vacation is flood feeds with foursquare check-ins sans comment I can see folks getting annoyed with that. If you do try this, and if I'm following you I would certainly welcome reading it, use it to enhance your experience by sharing information and spurring others to actively engage with you.
When GalPal and I wanted to enjoy something alone, we did, but we both really enjoyed hearing from everyone when we would make our adventures public.
I'll try and get some photos up from our adventures in a couple of days...