News that a few hundred social networking geeks will gather Friday for a breakfast meeting at the Minnesota State Fair is not the sort of thing that makes me want to write a column.

But throw in an agenda that includes a bacon haiku contest and, well! Why didn't they say so in the first place?

While my editor has come to expect this sort of goofiness from me on occasion, I do hope that my rabbi is away on a cruise.

Grease and fat beckon

Jewish girl's forbidden fruit

Would a bite kill me?

OK, so haiku isn't my calling. If you think you're hot stuff, you have until 2 p.m. today to get your bacon haiku on. (Remember, the syllable count goes 5-7-5.) Send entries to contest sponsors Social Media Breakfast, Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter, at

But know that you've got stiff competition from fellow Minnesotans, including Amy Mahn:

Smell bacon frying

Want to wear it like perfume

Dab behind the ears

And Peter Barry:

Crispy sizzling

Aromatic meat candy

God I love bacon

And Sara Cziok:

What is not to love?

The scent, the taste, the pig-ness

Glorious bacon

While the link (ha!) between swine and Twitter may not be instantly clear, it isn't terribly mysterious. About 18 months ago, a dozen local creative and technical types gathered for a coffee-and-Danish discussion of the burgeoning world of social media platforms. As Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other music- and photo-sharing options moved into the mainstream, they wondered: How best might we harness these tools' potential, professionally and personally?

But first, early adapter Christopher Lower, co-owner of Sterling Cross Communications, asked a more pertinent question:

"Where's the bacon? It's not breakfast without bacon."

Bacon was added, as was a name: Social Media Breakfast. The concept took off, with monthly attendance frequently in the hundreds, including representatives from major corporations such as the Mayo Clinic, Land O Lakes, Deluxe Corp. and Best Buy.

Lower finds it amusing that the Twin Cities group can get so many techy types to a face-to-face social setting. "Geeks do tend to cling to their laptops and not come out in the sunshine much," he said.

Could it be that enticing smell? Probably. But food aside, the members delve into meaty topics that have put the Twin Cities on the national social-networking map.

"These kinds of events are popping up all over the country," said Mykl Roventine, organizer of TechKaroake's Twin Cities branch, "but we have had the most consecutive events, the largest crowds. We're up there with New York and San Francisco."

Roventine is cofounder of Twin Cities Social Media Breakfast with Rick Mahn, husband of the Amy Mahn cited above, who may one day have her own line of pork perfume.

As many as 400 people are expected at Friday's meeting, to be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the fair's Blue Ribbon picnic area. The meeting is open to the public. (For information, go to

The Mahns will be there, as will haiku hopefuls Cziok, a marketing communications manager at LaBreche, and Barry, an information architect at Modern Climate.

The highlight, of course

Ten best loving odes to swine

Save Danish for me

Gail Rosenblum • 612-673-7350 •