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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Social Media - Local Connections.

Recently, i have been involved in helping to organise some local charity events/projects. Some more successfully than others i might add!
But, one thing that has struck me whilst doing this, is the way in which i have been communicating with the other people involved.
Yes, i have been using those, relatively, old fashioned methods of communciation, email and text. I have even been using the antiquated telephone system, albeit mainly the mobile/cell variety.
All of these methods have their uses and that will probably continue to be the case, for much time to come..
But, what has surprised me has been the way that i've found myself using social media sites, such as Facebook, to help with both the communication and organising of these events.
These sites, especially the messaging side of Facebook, have enabled me to quickly contact and keep in touch with all the people involved with these projects and all within one site too.
One of the beauties of doing this on Facebook, is that your interaction can be done both privately and publicly, depending on what you wish others to see. I know that other sites allow direct/privtae messaging. But, i do find Facebook to be especially good for this.

I must admit that i was never much a fan of the idea of Facebook.
I know that this probably sounds very familiar to those of you who may have read other blog posts that i've written here. But, Facebook, like Twitter before it, was a site that i had to be convinced to try out and more, or less dragged onto.
Even then i was not a big fan, at first. But, i have finally come to see it's worth and strangely enough, it is the way that i interact on Facebook with local people, that has helped to change my opinion of the site.

Now, that is somewthing that i never expected.
My experiences with social media had, until fairly recently anyway, been mainly with people from right across the world and not with people living on my doorstep. But, the advent of both Twitter and Facebook has changed that and has opened up my social media world to a brand new community, my local community.

Both Twitter and Facebook are social media sites on which my virtual life and my real life collide. Facebook, especially, does this and that has been a slightly strange experience at times. At first my Facebook experience essentially mirrored my time on YouTube. I interacted with the same people, albeit using our real names.
But, then the local aspect started to become more prevalent and this is what really took me by surprise. I never expected that collison of virtual and real worlds to happen. But, it is something that seems to work. It has also led to a blurring of the lines between those two worlds.

I have met, both virtually and in reality, many new people from my local area because of social media. People i would quite probably never have met and interacted with, without the aid of sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

This is an aspect of social media that does tend to get overlooked when people talk about social networking.
We all tend to think of social media as a global phenomenon. But, sometimes the most interesting people might live right around the corner from your house and you just never knew it.

Just because you live in the same town, or city, doesn't mean that you can't, or shouldn't use social media to interact with the people within them.
Social media has the power to enable you to meet and interact with people from countries throughout the world and i have met many interesting people precisely because of this.
But, don't forget those people who live in the same country, or even the town as you.
Who knows what you might be missing out on?

There is a famous saying, usually used in a totally different context, "Think globally, act locally"
Maybe we can put that saying to use into social media as well?


  1. "Facebook: It's not just for annoying twits you used to know in high school anymore"

    A good communications platform is a good communications platform, whether you're reaching around the globe or around the corner.

  2. Ken: As it happens, i've only been contacted by a couple of old school friends on FB. Maybe that tells you something about me!
    As i said, it's the local aspect of FB that's really surprised me. I was not expecting that.

  3. Facebook is a time warp - it continues to fascinate. Yes, I've come in contact with old childhood friends, but even more fascinating, I've been in contact with people who worked with my father nearly thirty years ago - people whose stories I never would have heard if not for the connections created through social media. Incredibly priceless.

  4. Rich: As i said to Ken. That side of FB hasn't really affected me. That could possibly be because i tend not to "friend" people, but rather let them find me. Not sure why i do that, but it may be because i prefer other sites to FB. Having said that, i'm now spending far more time there & mainly for the reasons i've mentioned here.