Communities IRL

When today’s #reverb10 prompt appeared, I thought, “Hey, I wrote this one already!”

And indeed, in September, I wrote about my experience in Finding Community in Elgin, a completely enthralling, exciting development.

But re-reading the prompt (Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?), I realized that there’s another aspect I completely overlooked.

2010 was truly a social media – and specifically, Twitter – year for me. And while Twitter is indeed part of my job, I’ve started taking the community-building lessons I’ve learned at work and applying them to – gasp – real life.

I joined Twitter groups of Chicago-area runners, and that lead me to DailyMile, a Facebook-like site specifically for athletes. From DailyMile, I’ve made new friends, some of whom I’ve actually met IRL (in real life). It’s such an encouraging, inspiring group that I doubt I would be running at the level I am now without this community.

I also connected with several other Chicago-area marketing people, some of whom turned out to live very near me. And again, meeting them IRL at various events has been enriching, with new ideas and perspectives galore that go well beyond 140 characters.

So that’s my goal for 2011 – continue to take these fantastic Twitter/DailyMile/LinkedIn/other relationships beyond the platform that created them. Because while a virtual community is cool, it can’t beat real life.

This post is part of #Reverb10, a month-long project to reflect on the year nearly gone. Read all my #Reverb10 posts, or learn more.

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4 responses to “Communities IRL

  1. IRL meetings are so important. I try to have some as often as possible. I really think it makes all the difference. Maybe not in person, but phone calls and that sort of thing are important, because you need to have a dialogue with people in order to really build a relationship, IMO.

    • You nailed it. Online is great for establishing the communities/connections, but to make anything of them, you really have to take things offline. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Pingback: Hello, Future Self. Enjoy the Ride | The Adventures of Elginista

  3. Pingback: 2011: Ready, Set, GO! | The Adventures of Elginista

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