Social Media is about connections, and this came home in a few different ways during Podcamp Western Mass. In preparation for Podcamp, everyone recommended bringing lots of business cards and there was a lot of exchanging of business cards taking place there. Also, people wrote their Twitter handles on their name tags and shared them on whiteboards.
Yet a more interesting aspect of connectedness came up at the final session of Podcamp. The discussion was around social activism. One of the concerns I expressed was that many social media social activists end up preaching to their circle of friends, to the choir, or the already converted. How do we break out of these circles?
One aspect is to connect with connectors; people with lots of interests that communicate with people in many different circles. Another way is to focus on the connections between topics. I've been thinking about this a lot in terms of health. Health is related to economics, to racial issues, to access to healthy foods, to neighborhood safety. With that, it is easy to veer off into discussions of homelessness, education, perhaps even the school to prison pipeline.
In terms of food, there is the idea of a food desert, a place where it is hard to access healthy food. Recently, I stumbled across the idea of a Media Deserts. It is based on the idea of a food desert, and the idea has gotten me thinking about how media deserts are connected to health.
I'm not thinking just the relationship between literacy and access to media. I suspect, although I don't have data to show this, that access to news media is related to civic involvement, and I've written before about the correlation between voter turnout and health outcomes.
So, what connections are you making?