Yesterday, I lamented that tools like Twitter and Facebook are not designed to promote real face-to-face connections and that I wished there were an app or service that did. Then, I had some real world conversations that helped me to realize a couple of things…

The first is, be careful what you wish for. For my app to really work, it would have to know far more information about your interactions and private details than such current services likely track today. Interpersonal relationships are incredibly complex, nuanced, and ever changing. There is already some discomfort with a service that asks about my relationship status with one person. In order for my idea to really work effectively, I would have to regularly provide information about my relationship status with everybody I was connected to.

Second, and perhaps more immediately important thing is this – I have all the tools I need to be able to do this myself. Right now. No app or service required.

The fact is, I know who the people are that I have conversations with on Twitter. I know which ones are local and which ones are not. I can own enough self-direction to think about having a face-to-face with these folks. I then could put a reminder down to shoot them a message and schedule a lunch or coffee (I like Backpack for this because it will send me an email and SMS and allow me to set times like “In a couple of days”).

For the ones that are out of town, well, that is a bit trickier but not much. Many travel services offer “fare/price alerts” where they will send you a message if travel to a particular destination drops below a certain price. I could easily set up one of these for each of my out of town contacts. Then at least I’ll have the information in hand to decide if I can swing it.

The point is, far too often I am guilty of wishing for a tool instead of wishing for a solution. You have now witnessed a twenty-four hour live demo of this. In doing so, I have wasted time that could have been spent actually doing, planning, and scheduling. Certainly something I need to work on.

Let’s do lunch soon.