Social Media Column: Social media breakfasts catching on

Published in the September 4, 2012 issue of The Edmonton Sun.

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

Social media breakfasts catching on

On the morning of the last Friday of each month, something pretty cool happens in our city.

Dozens of Edmontonians come together to “nourish their mind and their body.”

That’s how Steven Hodges puts it anyway. He’s one of the organizers for Social Media Breakfast Edmonton.

Social Media Breakfasts are gatherings where people come to discuss their experiences with social media. The first breakfast originated in Boston in 2007 and has since spread to more than 40 cities worldwide – including here in Edmonton and one in Calgary.

For Edmonton’s Social Media Breakfasts, there’s a different topic each month. The most recent one was on social media and e-commerce. Past topics have included how social media is used in government, for entrepreneurs, in business strategies, policing and more.

“It’s basically an open gathering for people to share their best and worst examples of social media in their personal and professional lives and it’s a great networking opportunity too,” Hodges says.

And it’s free to attend! Discussions are also tweeted of course — and live-streamed. Those who can’t attend can watch online and follow along at the #SMBYEG hashtag.

There’s been almost two years’ worth of monthly meetings and organizers say exciting times are ahead since the breakfasts have recently moved into the Startup Edmonton space in the Mercer Building downtown. That means more opportunities to make the breakfasts bigger and better.

“We went and found a bigger space so now what exactly are we going to do to fill this bigger space,” Hodges says.

Organizers have also been mulling around the idea of holding a Social Media Breakfast “Alberta” – attracting attendees from across the province for a central gathering in Red Deer.

Even though it’s been around for nearly two years now, I only just attended my first Social Media Breakfast last Friday. Hodges says while there are regulars, there’s also a fresh batch of Edmontonians experiencing the breakfast for the first time each month.

I made a few new Twitter friends from the event – and got to catch up with familiar folks I’ve met at past Twitter meet-ups. It’s just another great example of Edmonton’s online community taking their connections offline – networking, while gaining valuable information related to social media.

Plus you get free food. How can you go wrong, really?

And for those like me – who find it hard to make the Social Media Breakfasts because of its time of day — Hodges joked that perhaps there may be a Social Media Breakfast “for Dinner” in the future.

I sure hope so.

Follow @SMBYEG on Twitter for updates on upcoming breakfasts.

Some Tweets of the Week

@naturalurbanmom: So many awesome folks at #SMBYEG this morning!!! And this coffee from #roastcoffeehouse is SO GOOD!

@ntashaab: Expecting to wake up to snow any day now… #yucky #weather #yeg #sodepressing

@PaulLetourneau: Another incredible sunset in #yeg… It’s all about the little things.

@thepolishviking: Went to Absolutely Edibles for brunch. Take my word for it “Heaven in a Bowl” is exactly as the name suggests #yeg #yegfood

@thekrisjohnson: Incredible exhibitions @yourAGA, well done! #yeg #art #Alberta #Edmonton

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

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