When I heard about the #pairwithme idea, I thought it was something I really wanted to do. I set aside 3 nights a week from 9-10pm and started pinging people on Twitter during that time, asking if they wanted to pair. I tried for no less than 3 weeks before actually getting a real pairing session going. I had several cancellations and a bunch of fits and starts trying to figure out how to really communicate with people. Here’s my takeaways from the experience of coordinating sessions remotely.
- Get off of Twitter as quickly as you can. Go to direct messaging, then get e-mail or some kind of chat to ‘formalize’ the relationship a bit
- Use a Calendar and actually send the invite. It virtually guarantees that you’ll be on their calendar and helps both of you remember.
- Pre-agree on where you’ll meet. Google Plus seems to be the most common, though I’ve seen some people get into IRC. Either way, include it in your calendar reminder.
- You need about 1.5 - 2 hours to do a good session. It takes at least 10 minutes to ramp up and if you’re meeting someone for the first time, it can go as long as 30.
- Double book (with people’s full knowledge) if you can. I.e. “If my 8:00pm session cancels, I’ll ping you and see if you’re available… cool?”
All in all, I’ve found it difficult to get started, but now I’m booked out for 3 weeks. We’ll see how they go. :)