The magical power of social networking

Okay. So I know I go on and on about the power of social networking sites to connect travelers from around the world. What can I say? I really see them as a game-changer.

This week, there’s more anecdotal evidence to support my case. First up: An interesting post over at the great quit-your-job-and-travel-the-world blog, Almost Fearless: The Brave New World of Twitter. In the post, Christine lists a couple of examples of travel writers who’ve gotten work thanks to their Twitter posts being noticed – it was a follow-up to another post at Nerd’s Eye View, called Vagabond Shoes — which by the way is a must-read for aspiring travel writers looking for some inspiration!

Next, the hard numbers: Reuters is reporting that social networking has surpassed pornography as the most used service on the web! If that doesn’t tell you about the power of these sites, I don’t know what will.

I always used to collect emails from friends made when I traveled – you know the routine, passing a ratty notebook or a page torn out of a journal around the hostel common room on your last night. Those email addresses rarely resulted in lasting friendships, though. Now, with something as simple as adding them as a friend on Facebook, there’s no excuse not to keep in touch. Since getting involved in social networking, I’ve stayed in contact with nearly every Couchsurfer I’ve ever hosted, plus a lot of other travel friends made along the way.

Of course I’m not suggesting that travelers should spend all day long on Twitter or Facebook, or – better yet – a dedicated social networking site for travelers, like Matador.

But I do think these sites can change the way we connect with other people that we meet on our travels, and can help connect us to those fellow travelers that we haven’t even met yet, too.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sign up for Twitter…

Posted by | Comments (3)  | September 25, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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