@Merlene Heads to SXSWi

Merlene Paynter, Twestival Toronto 2009I’m pretty excited. This will be my first trip to SXSW interactive after watching the twitter stream jealously the last two years. I’ve been reading assorted posts and guides on how to make the most out of my week in Austin. I’ve been trying to maintain a flexible schedule while still making plans to meet with friends, colleagues and sponsors. I think I will need more hours in a day to just meet everyone in person that I want to meet. It truly will be like my twitter stream is coming to life. I’ll finally get to meet, in person, all of the amazing friends I’ve gotten to know over the past two years on twitter.

Merlene avatarI realize that many people are used to only seeing the quarter face avatar I use all over the web and don’t really know what I look like so I’ve posted some recent photos of myself here.

Merlene Paynter, 40th birthday, January 2009

I should tell you that I’m really shy about approaching people I don’t know (even if I know you online) so I can sometimes come across as cold or snobbish. The exact opposite is true and I’m delighted to meet people, I’m just really shy about it. So please, if you see me, come and say hello. You truly will make my day if you do. I’m really friendly and chatty once the ice is broken, I’m just not good at being the icebreaker ;)