Whenever people ask me about the return on investment (ROI) of social media, particularly as it pertains to me personally, I’m left at a loss for words.
I’ve had individuals say “I’m not looking to expand my social circles, so social media is a waste of time for me”.
That was not my case. Widowed in 2001, with children leaving home soon after, my social circles had dwindled considerably. It’s not as if I did nothing about it either. I’d joined the prerequisite groups and made sure to stay involved in activities that were important to me – like land use planning and the performing arts, but generally speaking it was the same people I already knew.
Things changed significantly in early 2009 when I became engaged in the Victoria social media scene. It seemed like overnight, there were hundreds of new connections; people who wanted to get together socially, for business, to learn more about social media, for fundraising, to support local causes, to form groups.
I loved the way social media flattened the hierarchy of the social structure and gave people an equal platform from which to relate.
Social media pioneers like Paul Holmes and Katharine Holmes of Idea Zone, and Catherine Novak of Wordspring Communications, were instrumental in kick starting the community when they created the first Canadian Social Media Club in March 2009.
Tim Vickers, Mike Vardy, Doug Symington and Tim Ayres were among some of the first users of Twitter in Victoria – they started the regular practice of tweetups in the fall of 2008, and were joined by Dan Parks in spring 2009. Dan, Catherine and I created the breakfast #victoriatweetups shortly after. More social evening tweetups continued.
Dan has since been bitten with the geo and app bug. His “High Noon Hump Day” lunch tweetups attract passionate users.
Raul Pacheco-Vega, Lorraine Murphy, Rebecca Bollwitt, well known Vancouver bloggers, and Joe Solomon, international not-for-profit tech activist, left indelible marks on the community through generously sharing knowledge, time and mentorship with us.
I remember Raul commenting on his blog last year for his 4th blogiversary about the many opportunities he has had since starting his blog, but above all, he values the deep friendships that have developed.
I can only concur. How can you place a monetary value on this every increasing network of friends? It is truly priceless.
Thank you Raul for being the representation of social media and friendship.