It’s All About the People #58 #cong14

By Karen McCarthy.

People are the worlds most valuable asset.  When people come together around common cause, magic can happen.  The Internet and modern technologies have expedited the ability for people to collaborate.  People are naturally social and want to connect.

The first “social network” I joined was the single parents’ yahoo group in the ‘noughties”, there were very few Irish people in the group so I adopted the username IrishCalypso. Calypso, partly because it was the name of the boat Jacque Cousteau sailed on the seas and I was feeling adventurous, beginning a journey surfing the internet and I also love Calypso coffees!  Through the yahoo groups I learned about Irish Penpals, I “virtually met” some lovely people there including one penpal who I finally met in person in Holyoke, MA 10 years later. 

2007 saw a combination of my last year in college as a mature student, my signing up to couchsurfing.org and facebook.com, followed by anotherfriend.com. I was hooked - people helping people through the internet. My daughter at 11 was becoming quite independent and it was a time to get social.  

Karen McCarthy Wexford Meetup

I met some amazing people. I saw crowdsourcing in action through couchsurfing when I joined an event in Oslo where they sourced all the ingredients for a fabulous New Year week long celebration full of activities, through people on the website.  Couchsurfing has opened my eyes to the wonders on my doorstep, experiencing Tramore through their eyes.  On Anotherfriend.com I discovered events organised by members, a “stranger” offered to meet me and accompany me to my first event, it was a little scary as the last time I had been to Dublin was to the Zoo as a child and I wasn’t accustomed to walking into a room full of strangers.  People were so nice, I  started going to events around Ireland, mixing it up with couchsurfing I introduced people from both networks to each other.  I went on to organise six singles events in Tramore, which brought people from all over Ireland, Oslo and Germany to enjoy the sunny south east. I joined the Kilkenny meetup.com and experienced a few cultural nights in my neighbouring county

Then came facebook! Business Pages opened the door to more networking opportunities for organisations, my IT background and work experience helped with the technical stuff but it’s the connections and building of communities that inspired me to jump into the world of social media.  The secret to creating lasting connections is to be real and let people know your story, let them feel your passion. Businesses too can show their personality and their story.  Transparency, integrity, trust, inclusiveness and passion are key.

Attending networking events and conferences is where the online and offline world meet, connections are nurtured, advocats created, leads discovered, new ideas and information is shared with visible human interaction and emotion.  While at a networking event in 2012 Samantha Kelly introduced me to Bill Liao who introduced me to Janet Carey, living not 5 mins from me who was also curious about CoderDojo. The following year I started a CoderDojo in Tramore.  CoderDojo not only provides a free space or Dojo for kids to learn to code for free, it also promotes the social side, collaboration and encourages networking between dojos.  People helping people, using technology and social media - the excitement of what is possible and what can be achieved is truly inspirational.  I’m so looking forward to #Cong14 and meeting more wonderful positive people.


CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie