No more long distance relationships for the Maritimes!

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It all happened so fast.

One week I’m happily blogging for my mostly American audience (I’m huge in Chicago…okay, not really…) and the next I’m reading posts, comments and tweets about places that I know, businesses that I recognize and bars that I’ve stumbled out of.

But I should start from the beginning…

About a month ago, thanks to Twitter, I connected with a social-media-centric agency guy here in Halifax. We chatted about the opportunity to get a monthly meet-up going like those for wired professionals in other cities throughout Canada. With that came the challenges of finding the elusive Nova Scotia Blogger, and the question of whether or not an online community can be sustained solely based on a geographic connection. That is: yeah we all live in the Maritimes…now what?

Two weeks later, we were surrounded by beer 25 enthusiastic guests forming a perfect mixture of IT folks, agency assholes (surprisingly nice people, considering the nickname bestowed upon them by their boss), hacks, flacks, librarians and personal bloggers of all ages. The formal part was limited to a brief ten minutes where we heard from Ryan Deschampes, the man who assigned Halifax librarians a social media bootcamp to get them over their hesitations (edit a wiki, read and comment on a blog, join a social network, etc.).

The next few days flew by in a blur of emails, blog comments, Twitter adds, friend requests and general online pandemonium. It seemed like all these people who were well connected nationally were craving some local action – and they sure got it! Nicely timed, mind you, as I got to read the twitters from the Atlantic Internet Marketing conference in Moncton (a city pulling over 100 people to their monthly meet-ups).

The Atlantic wired movement is still going strong, adding a whole new value to social media that I hadn’t experienced before. We’re still far from making Twitter Local’s top 30 (congrats Toronto and Vancouver!) but the web is already buzzing about the upcoming meet-up on May 22.

In the Maritimes and looking to connect? Find Halifax bloggers on Infomonkey, social media meet-up details on Wired Halifax (password "social media"), or just start scanning Twitter Local for the latest in your area.

Photo credit: NASA

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2 thoughts on “No more long distance relationships for the Maritimes!

  1. Eden Spodek

    Ben, I was born in Halifax and raised in both Halifax and Toronto.
    There is such a strong digital marketing/communications community in Toronto that we often forget about the challenges faced by our peers in smaller centres.
    Interestingly enough, there are lots of former Maritimers in the Toronto digital community. A few of us have even thought about getting everyone together for our own Maritimers-in-Toronto meet-up.
    Perhaps we should see if there’s a way for us all to connect sometime soon.

  2. Ben

    Thanks for the comment, Eden.
    I was pleasantly surprised to see that only such a small push was needed to connect the core web2.0 crowd here in the Maritimes! It seems every day now that an East Coaster is adding me to Twitter.
    I think the more this happens, the more we witness the power of new media the way larger cities already have been. It’s great!

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