It’s only December 8 and I’m already behind on my #reverb10 posts (technically, I suppose that’s not entirely true as I did post something yesterday, but I feel behind). So. Community, take two. 2010 was my year to become more fully engaged with a variety of communities through social media. I discovered #sachat, which is an amazing community of student affairs folks on Twitter. Always willing to share wisdom and support, #sachat has brought me professional development, new friends, and the opportunity to serve as a mentor through #sagrow. Truly a wonderful resource and one that I feel lucky to have found.
While my participation in #sachat has to date been purely virtual, 2010 was also a year during which the use of social media also played a part in strengthening my relationship to communities with which I had previously only interacted in the “real” world, in particular the Social Media Club Kansas City and the National Women’s Studies Association Women’s Centers Committee. In both cases, connecting with people through social media has helped to deepen our in-person interactions. This is what I try to explain to folks who don’t get social media because they think it’s something people use to replace face-to-face contact. Keeping up people via Facebook, Twitter, etc. means that a lot of the superficial chat that used to happen when we’d see each other after some time apart can now be skipped because I know what’s been happening in their lives — so we can move on immediately to deeper conversations which allow for a richer relationship. My life is better because of the people I know through SMCKC and NWSA and I am grateful that social media allows me to stay connected with them on a daily (as opposed to monthly or yearly basis).
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the in-person community that sustains me on a daily basis, which is the group of folks with whom I am privileged to work at the UMKC Women’s Center. A better group of colleagues, students, and friends is not to be found. It truly is an honor to spend the bulk of my days working and laughing (you do know that the whole “feminists have no sense of humor” thing is a myth, right?) with this group of women and men and I am grateful every day for a workplace that I am happy to go to.
This is already too long, so let me just add that my other 2010 communities include my circle of friends (in KC and beyond) and the “groupies” who congregate at Jardine’s Jazz every month to hear the Barclay Martin Ensemble play. Those monthly outings have provided me with fun and (re-)introduced me to some great people.
For 2011, I would for the most part be happy to maintain the communities I already have as they already make my life quite full. The one community that I would like to more deeply connect with is the community Kristen Abell and I created in late 2010, the group blog Student Affairs Women Talk Tech. We’re off to a good start, but I am hopeful that 2011 will be the year that we truly grow the #sawomen community. You can help by heading over and checking out our blog or joining our team.
Note: This is my seventh (7.2) post for #reverb10, an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?”