It was back in 2008 when I really started reading blogs on a daily basis. One of the first social media blogs I stumbled upon was Gwen Bell. I still remember the cute avatar she used at the time when I started reading about her life as a yogi and social media practitioner. At the time, I was just developing my own understanding of the power of social media, the connections that can be made through the social web, and how it changes all of our lives and businesses. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Gwen writing about her experience provided a resource for me as I developed and grew into my role as a social media practitioner. (I think the word practitioner is much better suited than the words often paired with someone whose primary job/career/position is social media for business such as guru, expert, etc. )
Randomly a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Gwen’s blog again. I noticed then that things had been changing for her. She had written a book and was now sharing “letters” with those who wanted to read her writing. I felt inspired. Here was someone who was using social media in such a profound way. I realized then how much her writing had meant to me over the years. How much I related to her as a yogi, her introspective thinking and continual search of balance in life. It takes effort to turn off the news feed even more so than it does to turn it on.
I decided then to write her a short note, thanking her for putting the time in she did to share her experience with the web. I wrote because I wanted to and not because I expected to receive anything in return. I know what it’s like to be busy and have an inbox constantly exploding with messages. However, to my surprise not too long after, I received a very kind and in “Gwen Bell fashion” reply to my message. In that note, she asked if it was cool for her to post an excerpt of my original message on her website for new-comers to the site. I grinned from ear to ear while reading. You can see that post here on GwenBell.com.
Seeing my name on someone else’s digital life work showed me just how powerful social web connections really can be. We all are connected. Really connected. It’s one of the most exciting things to watch those connections take shape and even more so to see what unfolds from there.
So what about you? What connections in your life via the social web or IRL have impacted you? (I think these are my favorite stories to read. Inspiration…. right from the source. )