Good point, and I've found through my experience that it is indeed easier to meet people with whom I've already established an online rapport. More importantly, it makes it easier to identify those whom I'm most likely to have a lot in common with.
To give a personal example, I made it a point to meet Andy Leonard at the summit, because he's done a lot of work on SSIS that I've found insightful and useful. We instantly struck up conversation that lasted for some time, which was followed up by a couple more discussions throughout the week. Would we have been able to meet up through chance and connect without previously having "known" each other through Twitter? Possibly, but the odds would be against it.
Tim Mitchell, Microsoft Data Platform MVP
Data Warehouse and ETL ConsultantTimMitchell.net
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