Meeting People in Tbilisi
If you move to a new location, whether within a country or to a new country, you'll need to construct a new
social network at the destination. The nature of the network will depend in large part on how social you are,
if you had a large social network at your previous location, you will likely develop a large one at the new location. This
post looks at the three methods I've used to connect with people, and the productivity of each method. I'm not
a tremendously social person, and I work alone developing software. So this post doesn't include connections from work,
which will likely be the biggest single source of social connections for most people. Also, I sell mass market
software, rather than consulting or enterprise software, so personal contacts from business are minimal in my case.
Additionally, I don't drink, and drinking is the most common social activity in Tbilisi - if you like to drink, particularly
wine, you will have an easier time connecting socially. So if you are a heavy drinking, very social, sales person with a job
in a large company, this may have limited applicability to you.
I've connected with people in three distinct ways:
- Day-to-day Living - My neighbors and others that I've met in my daily activities. By far the highest number of personal
contacts have been generated by my connection with my landlord, who is my oldest friend here in Tbilisi, and he connected
me with a boxing club, where many of my other social connections, and a few business connections, have come from
- Blog - I've connected by email and in person with people from all over the world via my blog. More in the discussion below
- Organizations - I've gone to Internations and Frydays
gatherings in Tbilisi. Internations is a large organization
that has events in many locations all over the world, and tends to gather a cosmopolitan group, as the name suggests.
Frydays is a group that hosts after work gathering, mostly in the former Soviet republics. Frydays in Tbilisi seems
not to be very active now (Edit 25 May 2013 - looks like Frydays is active again and worth checking into if you are in Tbilisi)
The method that I used was to note down all the people whose names I can remember and then note down where I met them. For day-to-day
living, a contact is someone I know and follow up is whether I talk with them without a specific goal in mind. For my blog, a contact is
an email, and follow up contact is a series of emails or an in person meeting.
The results of each way of meeting people are tabulated below:
|Blog||12||8 (5 in person)||66.6%||20.3%|
In terms of selectivity, that is the largest percent of contacts I've had that I have gone on to have further
interaction with, my blog has been the best source. In terms of overall numbers, I've met the most people, and
have been the most likely to develop some sort of social relationship with, the people that I meet day-to-day.
One more note about my blog, the technical posts, which
generate the most traffic, have generated no contacts. I've had one contact related to my post about boxing
in Tbilisi, who later joined the boxing club, and the rest, including people from Latvia, Singapore, Iran, Egypt, and the US,
have been related to living in Tbilisi or business in Georgia.
So, if you are in Tbilisi or moving to Tbilisi, you are likely to meet a lot of people in your day-to-day living, and
can supplement that by attending parties, particularly Internations events. Additionally, a blog where you focus on
the daily things that interest you about Tbilisi can generate contacts that are likely to be related to your interests.