Social Media Blog
With the long Independence Day weekend tempting us right over there on the horizon, many of us are packing our bags, fueling up our cars or just getting ready for a holiday weekend close to home. Keeping the spirit of the holiday in mind, we dug up a few fun links about the Fourth and social media - have a look if you're searching for something to distract you from a holiday weekend that's only a day away.
- How Would Social Media have Shaped the Declaration of Independence? For one thing, the blogger notes, that "bill of particulars" in the Declaration where colonists specify complaints against King George is made up of a bunch of statements that are each about the length of a tweet: "He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people." (129 characters)
- Online Comments on the Declaration of Independence? If the Declaration had broken as a news story today, of course the full text would be posted online. And open to user comments. (GEORGE3: This is the most idiotic piece of cr*p I ever read. Maybe next time they should try getting somebody who can actually write.) Be sure to read the real user comments at the end of this column about, well, user comments.
- Transparency and Vulnerability in the Interconnected Age. On a more serious note, here's a comparison of the sort of radical transparency the Founding Fathers exhibited by signing their names to the Declaration of Indpendence with the sort of online transparency we're dealing with these days. Looking at the role of social media in recent political struggles worldwide - anything from Saudi Arabian women calling for the right to drive, to social's acceleration of uprising in Egypt - how might the American Revolution played out differently had our country's founders been wielding iPhones?
- Declaration of Independence from Social Media (for One Day). You knew it was coming (and maybe you're even taking heed yourself): a call to pull the plug from social over the long weekend. Yes, it's an amusing riff on the real Declaration - Social media has refused to assent to social laws most wholesome and necessary for the public good, such as not allowing us to disconnect from people we haven't spoken to in years - but if checking in on Foursquare is starting to feel more like a chore than a game, it might be worth a thought.
Unless you're committed to "checking out" this weekend, you've probably seen some fun, useful or interesting connections between social media and the Fourth. We'd love to see them - please share in the comments below. Happy Independence Day!
Back when we all spent a lot more time at the post office, the iconic "Wanted" poster was a particularly effective form of reaching a captive audience hailing from all walks of life - after all, everyone needed to send a letter now and then, and if you were in the business of trying to catch criminals who'd reinvented themselves as who-knows-what, you'd want to reach as broad of a demographic as possible. In 2007, when the FBI started posting wanted notices on digital billboards nationwide, it was a similarly wide-ranging effort: Cast your advertising dragnet over a major highway, and you'll reach people of all ages, interests and backgrounds.
So when it was announced that the 16-year-old search for notorious Massachusetts mobster Whitey Bulger ended less than a week after being reinvigorated by a new tv-and-social-media search campaign, it seemed like a pretty obvious match of need and medium. After all, in an age when it takes most of us months to work through a book of stamps, social media isn't only our new post office - it's our new community center, bingo hall and workplace water cooler.
Except for one thing that didn't make it through the first round of "caught the bad guy" news: It wasn't Twitter or Facebook that alerted a tipster to Bulger's girlfriend (the focus of the FBI's reworked wanted campaign) but a TV spot. A Boston Globe article that ran June 21 didn't even mention social media, concentrating instead on the campaign's push via daytime TV. Said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Richard Teahan in the article: “We’re looking for people sitting in a hospital waiting for an appointment with a doctor where there are three or four [television] monitors on the wall, and they are watching these shows . . . or people who are in a beauty salon or barber shop.’’
So does that mean the social media prong of the Bulger manhunt was a failure? Not so fast. For one thing, there's "first time for everything" syndrome to consider. While the FBI's two Facebook posts announcing the hunt only have at time of writing 298 "likes" and 72 comments out of the page's 117,931 fans, it's certainly a start. Plus, now we all know that the FBI is announcing fugitives via social media - how many us were aware of this before Bulger's capture?
However, as with any new social media effort, searching for missing persons via social networks may be a difficult battle until the the practice gains critical mass. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Twitter account, @OurMissingKids, has only 209 followers - but @Amber_Alert has 26,763. After the social media search for Indiana University student Lauren Spierer, who went missing early this month, made national headlines, follower counts on the social accounts devoted to finding her skyrocketed; the Twitter account @NewsOnLaurenS has 25,751 followers. In other words, it may simply be a matter of time - but unfortunately, when it comes to finding the missing, time is of the essence.
What do you think about using social to find missing persons, whether the wanted or the disappeared? Is the medium ready to truly make a difference? Let us know your opinions in the comments.
We'll keep this week's blog entry short and sweet (particularly since we're busy wrapping up here from the Free Parking Day social media event we held this week with Lawrence GiveBack), and throw out a question: What do you show your friends, co-workers or prospective clients who still aren't convinced that social media is a crucial marketing method?
I've been a fan of Erik Qualman's book Socialnomics for a while (it's sitting next to me on my desk as I type this), and Qualman's short-but-info-packed stats videos that act as YouTube companion pieces to the book have consistently proven to be impactful on my social skeptic friends. So it's nice to see an updated version of his classic "Social Media Revolution" vid up on the book's YouTube channel. Check it out - some numbers you probably already know, others may just floor you.
How do you present an argument for social media - if you even need to these days - to friends, family or constituents? We'd love to see any examples of videos, infographics or anything else you've found. Please leave 'em in the comments below. Thanks and enjoy your weekend!
Used to be, the only time you'd have to worry about coming back from some wild party to find embarrassing photos of yourself plastered all over the place was if you were a bona fide celebrity, the sort of person regularly stalked by folks hauling expensive cameras with enormous lenses.
Then came MySpace and Facebook, and we all got a little bit worried about our personal paparazzi.
Then came Facebook photo tagging, and we got a little more worried.
This week, Facebook announced a full-scale rollout of the automatic photo tagging suggestions that have been quietly available to a number of international users for months, and we ... freaked out, really. I'm hedging a bet that not one person reading these words hasn't seen a post on their Facebook news feed along the lines of "OMG FACEBOOK IS STEALING YOUR FACE NOW!!1!" But before we all adjust our tinfoil hats to obscure our faces, let's pause for a second. Exactly what's going on here?
Up until this week, Facebook photos worked like so: Fred goes to a party, takes a bunch of photos (embarrassing or not), uploads them to Facebook and - if he has the time, and the desire to do so - tags people from his personal friends list in those photos. Those people receive notifications from Facebook that they're tagged in a photo, and have the chance to take a look at the picture and remove their tag if they don't want to be database ID'd in the image. (We're saying "database ID'd" because untagging a photo of yourself doesn't mean there isn't still a potentially embarrassing photo of you floating around the Internet. The other social photo scandal of the week can demonstrate that.) If Fred tags Mary and Mary thinks the photo makes her look fat, that's the end of it. Fred can't force-tag Mary, and a mutual friend of them both who runs across the photo and tries to tag Mary gets notified that she's already requested not to be identified in the image. And if Fred wants to tag Jane, who's also in the party photo but isn't his Facebook friend, he's out of luck; Facebook won't let you tag strangers. (There's a caveat, though, one that anyone who's gone to a convention or other large special event can confirm: Group photos and the tagging they inspire also foster explosive microbursts of new friend activity. In other words, if you're tagged in a group event photo along with a bunch of other people you met in passing but didn't have time to connect with at the event, you'll probably try to friend them. And they'll friend people. And so on.)
So what's different now? Nothing, except that when Fred first goes to upload those party pics, he gets suggestions about which of his friends might be in the images - suggestions that are based on some heavy-duty math and database analysis. Here's how Facebook explains the process in its photo help docs:
When you’re tagged in a photo, we associate the tags with your account, compare what these tagged photos have in common and store a summary of this comparison. If you’ve never been tagged in a photo on Facebook or have untagged yourself in all photos of you on Facebook, then this summary information hasn’t been created or stored for you ... When you or your friends upload photos, they may be compared automatically to the summary information we’ve stored about what your tagged photos have in common. The results of this comparison may also be used to group photos or suggest that photos look like you. You and your friends always have the option to ignore these suggestions. We only associate the photo with you if your friend saves these suggestions. If friends do tag you, you’ll be notified automatically and can untag yourself if you don’t like the photo or don’t want to be tagged.
The thing is, though, Facebook isn't automatically tagging people in your photos; it's suggesting faces, and asking for your confirmation. In the case of Fred's party photos, he's still got to approve every suggestion Facebook makes before the photos get associated with his friends. There's still a human intermediary, although admittedly it might be an easy, lazy thing just to hit "confirm, confirm, confirm" and let Facebook do its (not always accurate) thing.
So should we be on edge about this and, if so, why? Being tagged in more photos - which, certainly, this new feature will encourage - is generally a positive thing, unless you're worried about unwanted friend requests from people you've interacted with in real life. (If that's the case, you'll want to take a serious look at your privacy settings regardless of photo tagging, including controlling how searchable your profile your is by the general public.)
There is, however, one thing to perhaps keep in mind, something that doesn't really have anything to do with photo recognition at all: database correlation. If there's anything scary going on here, it's the hardcore database-mining that's going on whenever Facebook identifies potential names for photos. There really hasn't been any example anywhere, at any time, of demographic and behavioral information being stored in this much detail at an individual level. Facebook's been collecting data for years about how our photo-taking and photo-tagging behavior coincides with that of the people around us, and now we're some pretty targeted results from all that data. Of course, it's not just photo behavior that Facebook's got access to - who's to say what the next correlation-based nugget mined from our user patterns will be?
The only thing to do may be to watch and wait. (But if you've got any ideas, wish-list items or otherwise, let us know in the comments.)
Sure, social media makes it entirely possible to carry on relationships with people without ever even meeting them in person - but it's at its most fun (and its most effective) when it really brings the "social" to life through real-world interaction. That's one reason why we've had so much fun joining in with the social media for this year's Old Shawnee Days, which started last night and runs through June 5. Coming to the event? Bring your smartphone, check in on Facebook or Foursquare and trade photos of your favorite rides, food or entertainment with other folks at the fair. Or, if you're on Twitter, give @OldShawneeDays a shout and hashtag your tweets from the day with #OSDays - they'll appear on the special coverage page on the Shawnee Dispatch, too.
Festival and fair season has always been one of the things that makes the Midwest and Kansas a great place to live, and most of us can probably remember our parents or grandparents taking us to a summertime fair for rides, snacks and shows. And while at first glance all this newfangled social media tech might not seem to be the most likely match for your average down-home summertime festival, it's actually a perfect fit for this kind of family fun. Got friends or relatives who can't join you for the event? Keep them from feeling left out (or make them jealous!) by posting an album of photos from your day. Want to know the best kids' attractions before you head out for the day with your little ones? Use the hashtag and ask everyone who's already there - and who knows, a conversation on Twitter could turn into a real-life play date once you get to the grounds.
We'll be at Old Shawnee Days with @OldShawneeDays this weekend posting Facebook and Twitter updates, photos, news and anything fun that happens at the fair - so send us a note, especially if it's something you'd like us to share! A smartphone in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other - call us a little geeky, maybe, but it sounds like a pretty great weekend. See you there - in real life and on the social Web!
As we head into Memorial Day, the first big outdoor holiday of the hear and the unofficial kickoff to summer, here's a question: How much of your holiday weekend will be spent talking about the holiday weekend on Facebook, Twitter or the social network of your choice?
For many of us, the answer will be a lot, whether it's because we finally have some time outside the office to play with our techie toys or because we're part of that camp that just likes to obsessively document everything (I'm raising my hand on that one). Of course, photos, stories and tweets from a family holiday can be a fantastic chance to bring loved ones closer; I've got a friend, for example, whose fanatically detailed Facebook albums of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the like aren't for herself, but for her husband, stationed overseas with the military.
The argument goes the other way too, though. Last year on my own annual Memorial Day road trip - a trip to Denver for a dance festival - I remember a really distinctly creepy moment during a particularly beautiful performance when everyone around me was too busy recording the show on their fancy phones to, as it seemed, actually enjoy what was going on a few feet in front of them. By the time I got to my hotel room a few hours later and cracked open Facebook, there were already videos and photos up from the night.
While that sort of real-time citizen reporting is one of biggest areas of potential for social media, as well as an amazing tool for networking - based on tags on that night's photos, I probably added half a dozen Facebook friends before I even saw them again at the festival the next morning - it does provide an equally dazzling capacity for burnout. While the concept of a "social media sabbatical" isn't a new one, it probably won't be going away any time soon, either. Sites like Sabbath Manifesto urge people to take part in a "weekly timeout" - in the case of Sabbath Manifesto, even providing an iPhone app that'll "check out" of your social networks for you so you're not distracted by some cute cat video when you log onto Twitter to tell your friends you'll BRB. (Who could blame you, after all? It's even been proven that using social media boosts production of oxytocin, the same "cuddle chemical" that activates when we're in love.)
Last Memorial Day, executive creative director Steve McCallion from big creative firm Ziba wrote a pretty poignant column for Fast Company suggesting that, in light of our collective burnout and the reason Memorial Day exists in the first place, we may all just want to take a break from our phones, laptops, Facebook profiles and Twitter streams for a while and use the occasion to make the holiday more meaningful:
"Web traffic monitoring sites could follow up with a graph visually depicting the drop in traffic to document the power of this collective action. Maybe we could start small, asking for a mere 10 seconds of silence. Each year we could add 10 seconds. Gradually increasing the time each year brings us to a full minute in 2015: a shared national journey toward relearning the concept of sacrifice."
If social media is a big part of your life, personally or professionally, that's a pretty tall order; if you or your brand "live" online, it might not even be possible. So what do you think - would signing off social for a brief sabbatical, whether for Memorial Day or just because, improve your quality of life or keep you from connecting to people important to you?
And with that, I'll give it a try and log off for the long weekend. Maybe.
If you're ever promoted an event - via social media or any other means - you've probably struggled with the classic worry: "What if I throw a party and nobody comes?" In the case of pro makeup company NYX Cosmetics, though, the opposite was true: They threw a big anniversary party sale and everyone came - to the point of bringing down their site. And while their site outage was certainly big news for frustrated makeup lovers, how they dealt with the damage via social media is something we can all learn from whether or not we've ever thrown a tube of lipstick into a shopping cart, real or virtual.
Here's what happened. On May 9, the company posted an image to their Facebook page announcing a "12 Hour Sale" in celebration of their 12th anniversary:
Big news for cosmetics aficionados, as evidenced by the 127 "likes" the photo earned. Note the fine print, though: "There will be a limited amount of products available, so we suggest you shop immediately!" Facebook fans picked it up right away, and the resulting dialogue - which to NYX's credit, was dialogue rather than unattended customer comments - began pretty much immediately. Is the sale 12 hours or until merchandise runs out? What about differences in time zones? What about shipping?
NYX responded to the comments (the majority of them, at least), most folks' questions were answered, buzz built up and everything looked pretty much in place for a highly successful (though perhaps not terribly organized) social campaign.
And then ... the sale started. With such a high volume of traffic, the NYX site went down, apparently, pretty much immediately. With angry consumer contents flooding in, backtracking on the company's Facebook news feed and Twitter posts over the course of the days post-sale starts looking less like an exercise in customer service and more like a four-alarm fire:
Disgruntled customers were promised a make-good, but the terms of that offer kept changing as well: Another 12-hour sale? A coupon code for free shipping or merchandise discounts? By Monday afternoon, customers were being asked to submit their email addresses to receive a half-off discount code with free shipping, but hundreds were still complaining about not receiving the code right away or, if they had, being unable to actually redeem it. And then there was the matter that, for most products, a half-off discount didn't come close to value promised by the original $1.20 sale.
At time of writing this - only four days after the incident - Twitter chatter on NYX is already starting to veer back toward generic comments and product reviews. But the effects, particularly in the blogsophere, will be lasting. One pro makeup artist posts in an open letter to NYX: "First of all, when you got an unestimated amount of traffic due to the large & faithful following of your products, your representatives should have stated that you were not prepared for this amount of a reaction. You do not post things implying that it is your customers fault for overloading the server on your social sites. This only makes your customers feel like you are insulting them for wanting to take part in your sale."
NYX itself hasn't reacted much since giving a brief interview to beauty blog Temptalia on Monday and posting an official statement Tuesday on its Facebook page. The issue remains, then: How long will it take for social discussion on the failed sale to die down, and how much lasting damage was done to the NYX brand? Only time will tell, but in the meantime: What would you have done differently had you been in a brand manager's shoes? Let us know in the comments.
What did you do this morning after your alarm went off - other than hit the snooze button? If you've got a smartphone, a new study says, there's about a one-in-three chance that you switched on your phone and loaded up an app. And if you're in that group, chances are also pretty good that you checked Twitter, Facebook or some other social networking app; 18 percent of those users, for example, logged onto Facebook before they got out from under the covers.
While it's kind of a silly statistic (and, if you're a diehard Facebooker, maybe an obvious one), there are a few key points to take from the study, which was commissioned by Ericsson ConsumerLabs (yes, as in "Sony Ericsson," the phone manufacturer - you can download the PDF here). One vital thing to note is something that isn't even in the survey at all: It ignores how much we use our smartphones as, well, phones, compared to the myriad other things we do with these little magic bricks we keep in our pockets and purses. After all, how many of us actually make a call to relay the sorts of "I'm running late" messages that cell phones were originally sold on? These days a "be there in five" is more likely to come via text or tweet.
So maybe we all know that we're using our smartphones to get online much, much more than we used to - and it's not tied to being at home, at work or near our laptops - but what does that mean about our overall usage patterns? For one thing, all that old marketing advice about optimizing the best times of day to reach your audience may not be quite as valid any more. Check out this (maybe a little oversimplified) chart from the Ericsson survey:
Now, that's not to say that time-of-day use has leveled out completely, especially if you're offering a product, service or app that itself has a strong timeliness component. (As a news organization, we're no exception - our daily traffic figures certainly show peaks and valleys that correspond with how you'd expect people would want to use a newspaper.) What it does mean, though, is that as you're promoting your product or cause online, it may be worth concentrating a bit less on optimizing the times of day you speak and thinking a little more about what sort of device people might be on when you're doing it. This could mean a lot of things: Don't throw your audience a link to a third-party page that you know breaks on your phone's browser. Don't assume that someone on a smartphone has the time or the technical know-how to bookmark a link or save something to look at later. Ask yourself how someone on the go might react to your message, and see if there's a way it might be useful or fun for them to interact with it via their phone.
Also, keep in mind that while the number of people looking at your stuff on a tablet might be small now, it's certainly on the rise; when people surveyed were asked what their next gadget purchase would be, a tablet came in third (13 percent) after a new laptop (16 percent) and smartphone (19 percent). If you consider that the iPad is only a little over a year old, that's a pretty significant ranking. Plus, those tablet owners are using their new devices in a manner that's more like how they interact with a phone than with a computer, particularly when it comes to usage over the course of a day.
How about you - is a tablet on your wish list? If you already have one, do you use it more like a little laptop or a big smartphone? And (just because we're curious) do you use your tablet or smartphone before you get out of bed in the morning? Tell us in the comments.
Anyone who says the days of Facebook Groups are over might want to check their inbox - chances are, they'll find at least a few emails from the last day or two with a subject line of "Someone-or-other updated the group Blah Blah."
So what's all that about? Right now, it looks like the tail end of Facebook's October '10 revamp of Groups functionality, when the social giant pretty much scrapped the old Groups format and replaced it with something that behaves sort of like a cross between a Facebook business page and an email listserv (remember those?). After the change, anyone who wanted to create a new Facebook presence for their club, carpool, PTA or what have you was forced to decide between creating a new-style group (with its dramatically different user experience) and a business page (more official, perhaps, but impossible to get an announcement or other message directly into members' inboxes - particularly after Facebook's Messages upgrade, which shuttles all business page updates into what's essentially a spam folder.) Frustratingly, there wasn't an option to upgrade old groups to the new format, resulting in what were essentially two (or three, if you count business pages) totally different methods of using Facebook to interact with small groups of people.
Despite the usual forum backlash after the Groups rework, Facebook continued to insist that the only way to convert an old-style group into a new group was to start from scratch, meaning admins had to earn all those group members back again. Until this week. Well, sort of. If you admin an old-style group on Facebook, and navigate to it, chances are you'll see something like this at the top of the page:
Great. Or is it? Here's the thing: Click on that "Learn more" link, and you'll see that some groups are eligible to be upgrade immediately, others are slated for automatic "archiving" and Facebook isn't exactly forthcoming about which are which. If you're in that former category (and you'll know you are because there'll be an upgrade link next to the "Learn more" callout), no sweat: click and you're done. You lose a few things - the ability to give admins titles, the "recent news" box and the info box under the group's profile pic, and the ability to affiliate with a network - but other than that, you're good. (Until you have to start explaining to all your group members how to actually use new groups, which can be a pain - particularly since group defaults mean each member gets email notification of every post on your group's wall. And you can't change that on their behalf; they've got to adjust their own notification settings. Will this mean a goodbye to heavy group Wall interaction - a gold standard for Facebook engagement? Watch this space.)
If you don't have the option to skip the archive process and immediately upgrade your group, here's where it gets tricky. No one's certain yet if all groups will receive that option in the future, or if some have simply been cherry-picked for the chance to change. Inside Facebook speculates that it might have something to do with some combination of group size, activity and maybe even age, but as with so many Facebook changes, no one really knows. And, as of now, there's no window for auto-archiving any more definite than "the next few months"; so if you admin an old-style group, it's probably worth keeping an eye on your page to see if/when you're invited to upgrade.
If you're not invited and Facebook automatically makes the switch for you, their help docs say, you're still preserved - except that you lose all your members and will have to re-add them. That's right; they're all gone. If your group is a small one, and all the members are your friends; this isn't such a huge issue; you can add your friends to a new-style group with the click of a mouse. If they're not your friends, you'll either need to rely on the good graces of mutual friends who are group members or contact those folks via some other means to get them to request admission to your group - because with new groups, even public ones still need someone from within the circle to approve a join request. With that in mind, if you're biding your time waiting for Facebook to give you the upgrade invite, you may want to make a list now of your current group members - and warn them that there might be some changes coming.
Do you admin any groups, and if so, were you given the option to immediately upgrade? Have you been getting a glut of notification emails in the last few days from groups that have made the switch? Let us know in the comments.
This early '90s AT&T concept video of an interactive "computer sous chef" has been making the viral rounds this week - but aside from being a giggle, there's actually a pretty interesting takeaway here. Namely: When was the last time you used a cookbook?
One of the great things about social media is its ability to bring folks in niche communities together over shared topics, whether it's a broad interest like cooking or sustainability (that's one of the reasons we launched our newest community site, SunflowerHorizons.com), or something significantly less widespread or more geographically spaced out. Into historical reenactment? Suddenly it's easy to connect with fellow hobbyists, a collective that's fairly sizable but spread out across the country. Want to get in touch with other folks who are into, say, antique sewing machines? That's easy too, even though you're dealing with a fairly small group of enthusiasts. (I know this from experience; it wasn't in my shortlist of hobbies, but when someone gave me an old machine a few years ago after I mentioned I wanted to make some curtains, the social Web helped me find the one guy - in American Samoa, no less - who could get me the vintage part I needed to get the thing going again. As a result, I sew a lot now. Just don't ask how those curtains turned out.)
But back to cooking, and that funny AT&T concept vid. When I went off to college, my mother gave me an old ring-bound Betty Crocker cookbook from the '50s as a sort of survival kit; it'd been her grandma's, and its tattered, crumb-encrusted pages did a pretty good job of explaining everything from a boiled egg to baked Alaska, complete with bygone-era photos of happy housewives pulling perfect cakes out of the oven without singeing their curls or pearls. (Seriously. Not much of an exaggeration.) I've still got the cookbook, but instead of gathering crumbs on the kitchen counter, it's gathering dust on the bookcase - these days, it's easier to just open up the laptop and head to something like Allrecipes.com. And while the laptop doesn't quite have the smooth-voiced charisma of the mythical AT&T sous chef, it gets the same job done, down to the part where the guy in the video sends his wife a text message while she's at the store.
Thing is, AT&T didn't quite twig to the issue of Too Many Recipes - what happens when I want to make biscuits and gravy, but can't decide between the 500 or 5,000 or 50,000 recipes that Google retrieves for me? And that's where social media is a perfect match for cooking. Consider a site like Foodily, which taps into your Twitter and Facebook connections to help you rank recipe results based on name and ingredients (or excluded ingredients). Suddenly, that biscuits and gravy search is a little less daunting, and if one of those recipes is accompanied by a testimonial from someone you actually know, you're golden. And, hopefully, so are your biscuits.
Oh, and Foodily picked up a $5 million investment prior to its launch this February - suggesting that it's not just social-savvy chefs who see the value of social media lighting up every niche on the Web.
What about you? Each of us has a handful of off-the-wall, obscure interests or hobbies - how has social media helped you delve deeper into those interests and maybe even meet like-minded folks in real life? Let us know in the comments.