[tweetmeme]I’ve just added another perfect stranger to my blogging team. He’s John Sawyer, and I met him on LinkedIn, specifically the Word Press Group. He was among a group of strangers who were offering me advice when I ran into problems upgrading WordPress to the newest version.
He was so helpful I paid him to get me going again. Now he’s my friend. Have you noticed that you can become almost instant friends with perfect strangers you meet on the Internet? I mean real people you want to have in your life. The Internet has become a matchmaker.
There’s Bea Fields who was and still is my blogging coach and one of the most helpful and giving people I know. I’ve never met her, but it hardly matters. We talk every week on her “Blogging Mentor” program where other strangers I have never met convene to share tips. I don’t want to forget Nina East, who set up my first blog for me. Or Jeff Simpkins, a banking consultant whom I met through Bea and who co-hosts a weekly webinar with cool speakers on social media and other business topics. Annie Hart is another pal who believes story telling can change the world. Pat Weber is a new friend I connected with on LinkedIn’s Bloggers Helping Bloggers Group. We’re cooking up an idea (that I won’t give away) for a series of guest posts on each others’ blogs.
Masses of Communicators
As I soon as I publish this, I’m sure I’ll remember a few more people I should have included (I’ll come back and add them). But social media is taking the word “stranger” and modifying its meaning from “a person with whom one has had no personal acquaintance” to “a person one has not met in person.” IBM’s social media policy coins a new term about their employees on social networks, “these individual interactions represent a new model: not mass communications, but masses of communicators.” That is what we have become, masses of perfect strangers interacting with other individuals, learning about each other, influencing each others’ behaviors — and changing the world?