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June 5, 2012

Social Media Column: Friends can be found online

June 5, 2012
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Clicks of the Day - Linda Hoang
Edmonton Sun Linda Hoang

Published in the June 5, 2012 issue of The Edmonton Sun.

Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.

Friends can be found online

I often get the stink eye from my “real life friends” when they hear I’ve been spending time (in real life) with people I’ve met online.

“How did you meet them?” they’ll say.

“We just started talking on Twitter,” I’ll reply.

“Oh.” Cue the stink eye. “That’s weird.”

Is that still considered weird these days? I don’t think so. Some of the best people I know I’ve met through social networks.

I grew up being told to be careful who I talk to online. Obviously you exercise a degree of caution because some people can be “weird,” as my IRL friends put it. But the majority are very nice, very interesting people.

On Friday I spent the night socializing with local Twitter folks at an event called Meet the Media (#meetthemedia).

It’s the second such tweetup (Twitter meet-up), organized by Tamara Stecyk (@TamaraVineberg).

Meet the Media allows “regular folks” to connect with each other as well as local media types face-to-face.

The hashtag was trending in Edmonton even before the event started and tweeps continued to use it after it was over, taking the new connections they’d made in real life, back online.

“It was a pleasure to see you and @jodinechase last night,” tweeted @SaySandra to @robmcl.

“Nice to meet you IRL yesterday,” @i_Ren tweeted to @DebraWard.

“One thing I love about tweetups is that no matter how many there are, every time I meet a couple new people. It is fantastic,” tweets @wunderbar.

About 100 people attended Meet the Media, some mingling until well past midnight.

The event, held at Teddy’s on Jasper, is just one of many local social gatherings organized through Twitter.

Pending sponsors, Stecyk hopes to put on another Meet the Media in November, but there’s always some kind of tweetup being organized, you just have to watch for it online. Or better yet, organize your own. It’s a great way to meet Edmontonians.

I encourage you to attend one. Take your online interactions to the next level.

I haven’t met one person yet who hasn’t raved about how wonderful it is putting a real face to a Twitter name.

Maybe you too will get the stink eye the next time you proudly say you met someone through Twitter.

CHATTER MATTERS…

There’s a ton of events happening this week that are sure to generate a lot of Twitter chatter.

The Open Sky Music Festival is taking place June 8 to 10. Twitter chat with some of the performers Tuesday (tonight) from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at #OSMF2012.

On Wednesday, follow #PKN13 for an explosion of local ideas and musings from various speakers at Pecha Kucha Night 13.

Edmonton’s food truck festival makes it 2012 debut at the Al Fresco 104 Street Block Party on Saturday. Tweet about the party at #whatthetruck and #alfresco.

Also happening Saturday is TEDxEdmonton 2012. The theme is “Activating Ideas” as speakers inspire you to create something great for the world. Follow along at #tedxedmonton.

Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!

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