Making connections. Making a difference.

It’s been great to connect with web industry people again AND have opportunities to contribute to some exciting projects, thanks to social media. Part time working mums – like me – don’t always get to attend special industry shindigs (like we did back in ’96.) But we can engage in the online conversation without having to call the babysitter! Here’s a few examples of how social media has made a difference to me.

1. The meeting of minds. Over the last year I have met up with some great folks through Twitter including Stephen Collins, Matt Moore, Brad Kasell, Michael Specht and Shane Goldberg (note to self..must meet with some great women Tweeple too!). I don’t spend all my time on Twitter, I don’t read every Tweet and some days I don’t read it at all. I use it sometimes at whim, sometimes strategically by dipping in on the web, my iPod or phone. But somehow through this seemingly odd interaction of shared status updates – and in some cases through blogging, we were able to have relaxed, conversation rich meetings when we met up in person. We have also been able to help each other to make sense of emerging technology trends.

2. Personal development. I’ve mentioned before how much I appreciate my mentors. Although none of them live in Australia, we know each other well through our blogs (also behind the firewall) and through other networks like Twitter, Facebook, etc. We use social media to communicate and they have all given me some great opportunities to develop my skills. I doubt I would ever have made the connection with them if it wasn’t for blogging.

3. Opportunities to make a difference. Blogging here on Wonderwebby has also helped me develop confidence in writing and practice my writing style. It meant that when Gavin Heaton (another person I follow on Twitter) announced the new Age of Conversation collaborative book on his blog, I didn’t hesitate in raising my hand to contribute. The best part – all the proceeds to go the Variety Childrens’ Charity.

The Age of Conversation 2 book cover

The Age of Conversation 2 book cover

Those three things are important to me at work – connecting, developing and contributing. How has social media helped you in your career?