Building Community

February 1, 2013
By

Social Media has transformed how Islanders connect with one another. Over 3,000 Islanders belong to the San Juan Islands Buy, Sell, Trade group, the largest social network group in the San Juan Islands today.

What happens at San Juan Islands Buy, Sell, Trade that builds community? Well, first, everyone who joins knows they are joining with San Juan Islands residents. That gives us a sense of geographic belonging. And its true we all share the same transportation challenges – we take a ferry between Islands and the mainland.

The Islands have been somewhat fragmented, in part due to effort required to travel among them. Its rare that our economic activity spills over into another Island’s micro-economy. But that changes with San Juan Islands Buy, Sell, Trade. Members routinely travel among Islands, dropping off items for one another and returning with others. I’ve met more people on other Islands than I ever have before simply because a trade or meetup via San Juan Islands Buy, Sell, Trade.

Meeting in person and interacting with people is one of the key benefits of online social media. It reduces the occasional sense of isolation that some Islanders feel. It connects people from their home or cafe on Lopez with 1,000s of Islanders across the County.

And people listen and respond. New groups have been created over the past 3 years. A discussion group for Energy, for Food quality and price, for Jobs and Talents.

“Using the internet to connect with your users and learn firsthand what they think is crucial to understanding them and what they want, the panelists agreed. But don’t think this is just a one-time effort. Listening is a long-term activity that is never finished.
“Have the courage to give up control without losing sight of your own vision,” added Wagner from Krrb. “Then you may see your service being used in ways you never imagined.”” – writes Francesca Pick on Sharable.

Like Projective Space http://www.projective.co, “a community-centered coworking space for creative entrepreneurs that choose to make their home in NYC. We’re curating a growing family of mutually supportive businesses” – the San Juan Islands must reduce the costs for small businesses to startup in the Islands and shared office / work / demo space is crucial.

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