Sunday, August 30, 2009

We're All in This Together

**Image from Learning 2XL

I'm a dreamer, but I'm also a realist. As much as I would love to, I can never change all the blight that exists in our world. It all comes down to the theory of quantity versus quality (this comes up all the time with my clients). You can put a little bit of effort into a lot of different things and nudge the needle ever so slightly in many areas. Or, you can start by putting all your efforts into one area, find others who are doing the same, and come together to make a tremendous impact. I realize this is a debatable topic, but I believe I have many more years of learning ahead of me before I'm ready to "conquer the world".

I never imagined three years ago when I chose to start my career in Detroit that I would meet so many people who shared my same goals and ambitions. I'm sure I sound like a broken record by now, but many creative and talented people live, work and play in metro Detroit. I definitely have social media to thank for connecting me to people whose paths may have never crossed with mine if it weren't for our common interest in the digital world. Many of us have bonded together, but I know there are others who for whatever reason aren't letting their voices be heard.

To tie this back to my original point, I've been investing a lot of my free time to help bring together metro Detroiters with similar aspirations. Communications and social media are very broad fields, so why not reel in all those who fall into these industries and connect them with each other? The purpose is to encourage the exchange of ideas, advice and sometimes even business. Now don't get me wrong - finding potential business prospects isn't the intention of this collaboration, but sometimes it just works out that way. By rallying together, we create new relationships and form new initiatives that continue to propel this region forward.

So what am I involved in? Tweetea and Social Media Club Detroit are the two biggies (these are Facebook links, so you have to log in to view the pages). I wrote about Tweetea before, but SMCD is a newly-formed group that has massive potential. I'm also working on growing a group that met earlier this summer to discuss how social media has impacted the world of communications. This may seem contradictory to the idea of "quality versus quantity" because I'm investing my energies into three separate initiatives. However, the overarching goal is the same for all three: Bring people together to make an impact in metro Detroit. By starting at the core, hopefully our successes and achievements will echo nationally and we'll gain more respect and credit for being a thriving community.

Here are a few other examples of some creative initiatives that focus on connecting people and/or highlighting the positive stories:
I know there are many more examples, but these are the ones that initially popped in my head. If you're part of a group that's working to advance our community or know of one, please add a comment with the details. I'm also interested to know if other cities/regions are making these same efforts, or are we more driven because we're fed up with all the negative attention Detroit gets?

Hopefully I'll have the opportunity one day to make a big splash on a larger scale. But for now, I'm keeping it simple and local. Each individual person in our community has potential, but together we're much more powerful. So, who's with me?


David Benjamin said...

Great post and thanks for working so tirelessly to help improve our community. I also want to thank you for mentioning our podcast series. Everyone's doing their part.

metrogal84 said...

You already are making BIG waves! Stop for a sec and look at you go, girl...give yourself more much-deserved props!

Anonymous said...

Well #journchat LIVE isn't big yet but hopefully it will grow when things are settled down for Sarah Evans. I hope to eventually bring journalists, bloggers and public relations professionals together for a live discussion.

We are rocking out in the D. I hope I can stay here. I am not sure yet but if I can. I would really hate to leave with all this awesome stuff happening.

Plus, Brandon Chesnutt's Brand Camp University and Tech Karaoke. Don't forget Startup Weekend too!

EstrellaBella10 said...

Awesome suggestions, Jamie! I hope #journchat LIVE grows, also. I think an event that brings together journalists, bloggers and PR pros would go over well in this market. Startup Weekend was a fabulous event and I hope we continue it next year. I'm looking forward to Brandcamp U!