Social Media in Minneapolis (or your town)

Foggy Town by Sri Dhanush Here’s another learning from my recent travels across the country.  It has to do with community, and regional participation.

I happen to live near and work in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area, and we have a very good, active social media community.  Because of this, its been easy for me to focus locally and (kind of) forget how many other large and small urban centers also have great communities.  That’s been the biggest learning as I’ve meet folks from all corners of the U.S. and around the world.

We all have vibrant social media communities, but they’re all different.  Some areas seem to be better at marketing, some better at technology or funding.  Regardless of the size of the city, the interest and enthusiasm always seems to be bigger than you’d think… and that’s the really fun part.

So my question to you this afternoon is what you’ve been doing to support that community and help it flourish.  The benefits of understanding what social media can do for individuals, businesses and your physical communities is growing at an impressive rate.  Its more than simply mainstream usage, it’s about people (society) adapting to new ideas and tools that support those ideas.  It’s cultural change which can be challenging for some organizations and individuals, and this is where you can help your community.

Getting involved in your local community is the best way to make things happen.  Find out what the need is and work on filling it.  It may  be getting people together at meetups, answering questions, or maybe training.  In any case, participating with your local community is as important as keeping up with the new ideas and tools that come out every day.

Picture courtesy Sri Dhanush

Bloggers Lounge at SXSW

Ok, it’s my first day at SXSW, and I’ve already run into about 10 online friends in the first hour here at the Austin Convention Center.

I decided to start the day in the Bloggers Lounge, which most of the folks I’ve connected with online over the last many years.  The lounge is set up with wired Internet and power for everyone who comes in, and there’s a bookable space for podcasting and videocasting or recording shows.

Altogether, it’s a great resource for bloggers as they create content and network with each other.

SXSW 2010 Bloggers Lounge

SXSW 2010 Bloggers Lounge

Twitter Is…

twitter-2 Since Twitter is the current social media darling, I thought I’d record a few thoughts I’ve had about one of my favorite online tools.  I’ve had the privilege of using Twitter for two years, and each and every person I’ve followed or had follow me along the way has taught me something new.  So here we go.

Twitter is…

  • a place for friends
  • a news outlet
  • a place to share your greatest failures & your most stunning achievements
  • an attention getter
  • a publishing platform
  • a customer service tool
  • a researcher’s dream
  • vulgar
  • the ace up your sleeve
  • brilliant
  • a new entertainment channel
  • a social network
  • a micro-blogging platform
  • a marketing tool
  • your community
  • overwhelming
  • 24x7x365 (always on)
  • a level playing field for your ideas
  • a sounding board for your thoughts
  • a comment reel for your new book
  • your starting place for your online excursions
  • the place for your organization to learn about it’s customers
  • a multicasting instant messenger
  • a game changer
  • a PR tool
  • a messaging infrastructure
  • a simple way to share & trade information
  • can be inane
  • is faster to publish to than anything else
  • is where you go to learn
  • your online “water cooler”
  • a conduit into the lives of others
  • a conduit into the idea stream of smart people

I’ve got a lot more input on what Twitter is than I could fit in this post, so I’ll work on fitting that into another format of some type.  What is Twitter to you?  I mean, what has Twitter brought to your life that you can’t believe you lived without before you discovered it?

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