During the ice storm this year a lot of people around Northwest Arkansas, maybe for the first time, realized the power of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. A lot of our area was without power, and therefore without television news. The newspapers were effected (the Morning News didn’t deliver a paper at least one day during the ice storm and the Democrat Gazette’s website was down for a while as well.)
But if you were one of the lucky ones with an iPhone or similar device and 3G network connectivity, you could still stay up to date with what was happening with the ice storm, what grocery stores had power, what restaurants were open, etc using social media sites.
One positive that came out of the icestorm was that a lot of the local people using these types of resources to communicate were able to find each other and connect, and one of the outcroppings of this was a group called NWA Social that had it’s first meeting today in Rogers.
The group was first proposed by John Andrews via a hash tag on Twitter. Several twitterers reposted Andrew’s tweet, and this morning, about 25 people gathered at Mimi’s Cafe in Rogers at 7:00 am to talk about the use of social media, the business applications for it, and to put a real live face to the avatar that they’ve been interacting with 140 characters at a time.
The conversation this morning was centered around how to convince your old school boss that social media is OK, and in fact, a useful communication tool for not only individuals, but businesses to get the word out about their product or service. Some of the attendees talked about their favorite applications for using Twitter, other social media resources, and generally, shared antic-dotes about how they’ve used social media in the past, and how they plan to use it in the future.
In general, it was a good discussion led by some really smart people, and despite being at 7:00 am in Rogers, a good time.
Those interested in staying up to date with the group or possibly attending the next “Tweet up” (Sorry. I know.), can follow #nwasocial on Twitter, and a website connecting the group is already up, and can be found here.