Monday, 19 May 2008

We've got a new site!

Over the last year, we've accumulated loads of projects and communities. While much of this is going on offline, it befits our company name that we should eventually launch a social network of our own. So now, thanks to Ning, you can join the Social Media CIC network.

I know a lot of people I send invites to will be asking "What's the point? You invite me to these things all the time", you'll be saying, "and I don't know what it's all about". So here are a few reasons why I thought it was a good idea:
- all the people involved in any of our projects, and a lot of other communities in the local area, can connect. Stoke is still a very disconnected place and while more people are on email now, that doesn't have the same power as people who can get together around common interests
- it can support offline activities. Much as I love joining online clubs, it's still more fun to have proper conversations, especially in Burslem on a Friday. But a good online network is complementary: it gives people a way to get involved in activities they might not otherwise know are going on, or gives them contact with other people that they may not have because of mobility restrictions, shyness or any other reason. Plus the groups feature means that people with little web experience can have a useful presence for their activities without needing to do anything more complicated than fill in a form.
- it's a pretty little site with all sorts of extra features. You can upload photos and MP3s and they'll be displayed in a professional way. We'd love to see this site become the host for a Stoke Sounds radio station that we've been mulling over for ages - so if you're in a band and would like us to share your music for you, please head over there. Hopefully it will become a showcase site for the bundles of talent that Local Edition and Stoke Sounds have highlighted over the last year.
- it's really very, very easy to join and contribute to. Promise.

Hope to see you there soon!

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