Nearly 3 years ago, my close friend Phil and I went to a bar to watch Sarah Palin deliver an address to the Republican Convention upon her nomination as the Vice Presidential candidate for John McCain. I was not very taken by the speech, and Phil showed me that not only could I comment about the speech, but could watch the chatter of the masses. I was enthralled and immediately signed up.
In these past three years, social media has been a part of my life and potential career path. It’s been fun and challenging, but I thought I’d give you a few tips to finding and connecting with interesting people.
1) Start with a hobby
I started with 2 hobbies: hockey and politics. I started searching Twitter for tweets about the NHL and about the Presidential Election. If you can find a few people that are tweeting about the things you like, you’ll find other people with similar interests as you watch the interactions.
2) Check Out Blogs on Your Hobby
I was not much of a blog reader at start, but as I started getting more immersed into social media I started reading the political blog, 538. From there I started reading more blogs, and then started myself after reading a friend’s blog: Blag Hag. Not only are blogs great for information, you can get a sense of who else is looking for these interests, just by reading and interacting on the comments. Just because you’re a hockey fan in Indiana, doesn’t mean you can’t meet people who are from Canada who are puck-heads!
3) Make Some Friends
Now that you’re a part of a community you should make some friends. Continue talking to people on Twitter and Blog comments. You never know that someone else with similar interests may live in the same town! Even interact with the bloggers, because just saying hi can make their day as well as yours! When I met some of my favorite bloggers for the first time off-line, I was as excited to meet them as much as they met me.
4) Look at Blogrolls
Blogrolls can definitely help you find new blogs to read. Usually if a blogger puts a blog on their blogroll, it’s because they enjoy that blog, and want to suggest it to you. It also can help you dive deeper on your favorite topics. It will also help you find other communities as well.
5) Don’t Panic
Social media can be frustrating at first glance, but it’s actually a lot of fun once you get into it. If you are lost about what to do with anything in social networking, just ask! Someone out there probably has an answer for you, and would love to help you get on your feet.
I hope these tips help you on your way to becoming a member of the large social media universe. If you need a friend don’t be afraid to ask
Carl Sagan myself or the millions other social media users!