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Connecting Communities with Social Media

Thanks to the wonders of Twitter and #DCWeek, I’ve been discovering businesses and business owners in the DC area that are worth paying notice.

How social media can be used for local, as opposed to borderless, community connections has become a recent fascination for me. Even for larger businesses, community events can be a great way to pull people together, creating a sense of team and driving the kinds of activities you want to see. Just check out Yelp and their Elite events for evidence of this.

Of course, fund-raising, park cleanups and snowball fights are also possible by bringing together locals. Sometimes it’s amazing that people who find out about such things online are willing to go outside to participate but I guess the times, they are a changin’.

So how handy is it that Sisarina’s Melanie Spring is speaking on a webinar about how to “Connect Your Community” with local events.

I asked Melanie on her thoughts about social media community building vs it just being an excuse for a party and this is what she said.

Social media is about sharing ideas. This builds community and allows us to be resourceful. If we don’t know any of these people in real life (IRL) then how can we grow these relationships and this community?

Someone once said that if we don’t know someone’s name, we have a lack of respect for that person. That even goes for plants and animals. Once we learn their name, we identify with them. It’s easier to be mean to someone if we don’t have a face to be mean to.

Meeting people in real life allows you to have a stronger community. Meeting your neighbors allows you to respect them. Growing our community locally allows us to have a global view on life. Say hi to your next door neighbor and see if they complain about your loud music again.

Great stuff. One of the speakers at TEDxPotomac mentioned something similar. As the lead for a universal taxinomy project, he showed how names create context as well as unity. When we come together, and have a chance to attach a name to a face, we build a more meaningful link. Dare I say, we make friends? Together, we can make so much more of an impact than the mere sum of our individual efforts.

Synergy is a grand thing.

The registration link for this free webinar is https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/740836113

Ah GoToMeeting…such a handy tool.

In case you read this AFTER registration closes (the webinar is Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM), here are the details from the registration page:

"Connect Your Community" with Melanie Spring

Learn the in’s and out’s of organizing a superb networking event! Creating a space for people in your online community to come together in person is not an easy task, but Melanie is going to show you how it’s done. She’ll give you tips on how to find the right venue, how to promote the event and how to create an atmosphere that allows your attendees to enjoy themselves. She’ll tell you how to make it free or cheap, what tools to use to make your life easy while organizing the events and how to spin it so you get your attendees to beg you to do another one.

About the speaker: Melanie Spring, Principal & Project Director of Sisarina Inc, helps her clients with their marketing, branding and websites. Her focus is on entrepreneurs and non-profits. You’ll find her organizing #DCTweetup and other fun workshops to help connect DC area neighbors. Learn more at www.sisarina.com.

About the sponsor: This webinar is sponsored by Small Act. Learn how your nonprofit can make a big impact in social media at www.smallact.com.

Sadly, I can’t make this event myself or I’d write a followup on it. Perhaps @sisarina will send me a copy of the session recording…

Sound off: Have you used social media for something “local”? What did you do? What were you results? What did you learn?

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