Social Networking – On and Offline

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Posted 08 Jan 2009 in Soulville

I’m always wanting to meet new people. I like my internet friends and I like my real life friends but especially when I move to a new place I feel lost all over again. Here is my list of awesome social networking websites and a list of places to meet people in real life.

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Social Networking Online:

facebookFacebook – What started as a site just for college kids has turned into a worldwide phenomenon that anyone can access. Though users don’t like every change the site makes (I despise the mini-feed), it still has proven to be better and more user friendly than MySpace and similar sites. Users can post pictures, albums, music, add additional features as they want and best of all, you can catch up with old friends. I have benefited from being able to reconnect with people I grew up with and that I went to school with that I thought I might never see again.

twitterTwitter – My latest addiction is Twitter. The hype is real – send short messages about what you’re doing or in response to a message someone else left for you. You can keep up with these messages online or via text message. You can even download instant messenger like programs to keep up with your “tweets” as twitter messages are called. You can follow people whose posts you like and other people can follow you. It really has been a way for me to connect with one of my siblings who I otherwise don’t get to talk to much. I share news and talk about silly things with people on mine, as well as post when I’ve updated my website – you can even make money from your tweets!.

wisdmwis.dm – One of the newest sites I’ve checked out, I like wis.dm because I get to ask and answer questions about things that I want to know about. I’m a constant questioner (its my job and “why” is my favorite question). This site has a lot of flash and perks but it all works for me! It has questions in all different areas, from sports to science to movies, so there is a never ending supply of fun. The site lets you meet and talk to other people on the site and like all the others here, it’s FREE.

deviantartDeviantArt – Artists unite! I started using DeviantArt as a site to just grab really awesome backgrounds off of for my desktop and it gets more and more awesome all the time. Users who choose to can register and talk on the boards, get help in the forums, see news posts, etc. All related to awesome art and artists. Keep it coming guys!

livejournalLiveJournal – I love LiveJournal, also known as LJ. My regular blog is there and I’ve used it to join different communities online, especially related to my interests and places that I live. I’ve sold things through these communities and gotten some pretty awesome advice as well. It helps to see what’s going on where I live – people almost always post fliers and notices when awesome things are happening like FREE concerts or yard sales. If you want to keep your blog to yourself that’s cool. I use a Deepest Sender in my Firefox browser to update my LJ without having to go to the website all the time.

logo-onwhiteLiveMocha – Ever wanted to learn a new language? LiveMocha connects you with different people who speak the language you want to learn and so you socialize while learning how to speak your new language. In case that isn’t neat enough, you get free lessons and new friends all over the world. You get to make your profile using what you learn in the language you’re trying to learn and they’ll “grade” you on your grasp of the written language! How cool!

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Social Networking Offline:

Join Clubs & Organizations – Get involved in the community. Join a class at the public library or at the local college. Do a community service project – Martin Luther King Day is coming up and there are almost always huge projects anyone in a community are welcome to join. Join local organizations or if you have kids in school, join the booster clubs.

Coach a Sports Team – Even if you have a small amount of sports knowledge, coaches are a big need for groups like Parks & Rec or the Y. People are needed to be role models to young kids while teaching them the basics of sport. Like to play volleyball? Teach a kid how to dig while having some fun.

Botetourt Bulldogs.
Creative Commons License photo credit: so.salem

Set a routine at the gym or on a bike trail – You’re likely to see the same people over and over at the same time at the gym or on a bike trail, which increases the chance you’ll feel comfortable enough to say hello. And they all are sweaty and smelly just like you so no worries there! Maybe you’ll find a regular activity partner which might lead to being really good friends.

Hang out at the library – Strange but true, you tend to find fellow bookworms or good students at the library. Even though most people keep their eyes on what they are doing, they tend to notice the usuals. Just like the gym, seeing the same folks over and over increases your chance to say hello. The same goes for the bookstore or coffee shop.

laura goofs in the stacks
Creative Commons License photo credit: Woodvines

Find out about free meals – and go! – If your college or community is having a free dinner or an organization is sponsoring one – GO! Plenty of people show up places for free food or entertainment and it’s very easy to strike up conversation with someone who is enjoying the same thing. Especially if it’s a potluck, you’ll be able to start a discussion over who’s potato salad tastes better and that of course leads to “so what do you do?”

How do you meet people on and offline??

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2 Comments

  1. Steve

    Regarding joining clubs or organizations, if you need to find a computer user group, to enhance or contribute your knowledge, try http://cdb.apcug.org/loclist.asp or http://www.smartcomputing.com/groups/findagroup.aspx?guid=5409C4F9C31E4515A1EE56D18DEBDCB0 .

    I have been an active member of computer user groups for a long time now, and it amazes me how many people don’t even realize these groups exist.

  2. Q Burgundy

    Great article! I wanted to add another website. Meetup.com is a website that can help you combine social networking both on and offline. It helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities around the world. And don’t foget that craigslist has similar features.