I have followed Paul O’Mahony on Twitter for a while now – better known as @Omaniblog. I’ve seen him connecting people from all different walks of life, networking and drinking lots of coffee with people, creating audioboos and chatting about his daughter #Omanidot and their stories; and there’s even a dog #Omanidog. I’ve found it all fascinating, just watching from afar.

A few months ago Paul showed an interest in the posts and interviews I was writing for Tweak Your Biz and Corpnet so I was really chuffed. I then asked if I could email him some short animal stories I’ve written for children – they aren’t finished or published…..yet. He read the stories to his daughter and she really liked them so we have kept in touch from there.

I am often fascinated by people I chat to on Social Media and want to know more so I asked if I could interview Paul. We of course thought it would be a great idea to combine that with lunch at the Cliff House Hotel, as you do, so we got to chat to the General Manager, Adriaan Bartels too.

Driving to the Cliff House I was having a think about what I was going to ask Paul. This is Paul’s bio on Twitter “Writer, Podcaster, Storyteller & Reputation Builder: business & mental health matter. I do my best to offer good conversation & share my contacts” so I had a lot that I wanted to ask. I especially wanted to know more about Audioboo. Little did I know he was actually recording an Audioboo at that point wondering what I was going to ask him. Click here to listen to the Audioboo.

We only had a two hour window but both of us realised straight away that we’d probably need all afternoon. After a great chat with this self-professed “storyteller” I managed to pin him down with a few questions and true to form we recorded it. Click here to listen to the Audioboo.

As the Audioboos only last 20 minutes we of course ran out of time quite quickly. Whilst Paul was starting another Audioboo we were able to include Adriaan Bartels of The Cliff House Hotel too. We chatted about how he uses Twitter which I’m always in awe of – look out for his comparison with “Fishing” which is just brilliant and the reason behind his #threewordtweet hashtag which seems to have taken off. Click here to listen to the Audioboo.

So those were the Audioboo bits of the chat before Paul had to shoot off. There was still so much I wanted to ask and also get in writing so I emailed Paul the following question:-

You seem to enjoy connecting people, which is something I like to do myself. What motivates you to connect people and have you connected anyone that you are particularly proud of?

It’s an ancient human trait – connecting people. I’m motivated by the love of making our world satisfying for all. Why does this drive me? Because I have a personal interest in the quality of collective community life. Because I depend on others for connections – and “what goes round comes round”. Also it’s enjoyable to experiment with the art of introducing people: you never know how they’ll click…

As well as connecting individuals, there is the challenge and joy of connecting communities…

For example, there is a wonderful and big community #SOBCon (fostered by @lizstrauss in Chicago & @starbucker in Portland Oregon) – I was introduced to it by @boydjane (of #45conversations fame) from Vancouver. Here in Cork there is a community #SmarterEgg fostered by @smartereggaodan – I’m a member. Wouldn’t it be great to connect these communities – you’d never know what might emerge. Perhaps 2013 will see some valuable connecting between SOBCon and SmarterEgg.

Recently, a group in Cork got together to discuss the potential of List.ly for our local community in Cork. @beckymccray from Oklahoma (Author of “Small Town Wins”) came on a Google+ Hangout Live-on-Air with us, together with @gregmcqueen from Denmark and @nickkellet from Western Canada and others. That conversation kickstarted us into presenting our local community in a new way – with the help and power of Lists @listly.

I’m thrilled to have helped connect @boydjane and @ajleon and @chrisbrogan with @rogeroverall – and @mitchjoel with @smarteregg – but we live in such a connecting world that they may well have got in touch without me.

One day @patquirke, an estate agent in Clonmel, connected with The Corcoran Group real estate in New York as a result of my Google+ contact. He got a kick out of joining a G+ Hangout. That sort of reducing the world to a friendly village appeals to me.

The more I remember what I’ve been up to as a connector, the more I realise we all do it. We all connect others – on-line connecting is simply a continuation of the human spirit in action.

Connecting people is an adventure we can all enjoy and gain from.

I know that I have only touched the surface of finding out more about Paul O’Mahony. Such a great character and a generous, lovely man as I’m sure all the people he has mentioned above, and more, will testify to. I hope you’ve enjoyed this part written/part audioboo interview. There will be more…..