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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Real Life Networking


For Day 3 of Armchair BEA, they would like us to talk about our experiences with real life networking. This is a tough topic for me, as I am not by nature an outgoing person. I have to force myself to strike up a conversation , let alone to approach someone to sell myself. Cold calls were the thing I hated most about my old job!  I often go months without telling people I have a blog, and I sometimes even hesitate to talk about the blog to family members, let alone strangers. Despite all this when we first moved to Pierre I knew I had to put myself out there if I didn't want my children to be friendless. In the 19 months we've been here I've managed to find a handful of local people and groups to socialize with, and I'm really proud of my boldness.

This doesn't address the blog, though, which was the question! I often think of things I'd love to do with the blog involving my community, but I haven't been bold enough yet to put much of it into action. I did start a feature called Picturing Pierre where I intend to feature different parts and facts of Pierre, SD. If you're unfamiliar with small town American, this post on just how small and isolated Pierre is might be interesting. I wrote a post on our flood last year that was really popular with search engines and I found a handful of local twitter friends that way.  In my imagination this becomes a terrific local resource, but obviously that won't happen on it's own, especially with my current record of posting about it.

This is a very small town though, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and we don't get many author signings. We don't have a chain bookstores, only one tiny little indie (though looking at other things on their website makes me think they might be open to some collaboration.) We have one very small library, which is very good, but very small and not very technologically advanced (I wrote about it here.) I have imagined myself approaching them and asking if they'd be open to starting a book club or help in utilizing Facebook or Twitter, but I just haven't gotten the gumption to go do it. With any luck reading all your wonderful posts today will inspire me to finally take that step!

11 comments:

  1. While we're not as remote as you are, we also only have one tiny indie bookstore. And, the place we live is not at all community-oriented, so I've found it hard to meet people. We may move soon, though. If we do, I'll be closer to the big city, which will mean easier proximity to book signings and such. You should be very proud of yourself for getting out and meeting people. It's hard when you're not naturally outgoing!!!

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    1. Pierre feels pretty community oriented, it was downright AMAZING during the flood, but just not very technilogically advanced. It's amazing how many businesses don't have a website, for example.

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  2. I bet the library would be happy to support your book club suggestion. You should do it!!

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  3. I also live in a small town - but what a great idea to start a series highlighting things about it! Thanks so much for your post, and great to meet you =)

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  4. It doesn't sound easy, making bookish advances in such a small town. Maybe you could try and meet up with your twitter friends (if you haven't yet). Sometimes it works better to meet up as a group than trying one on one, so it's less personal to start with.

    Also, if you get one other person interested in a book group it would make it easier to approach the library as you wouldn't be the only one.

    Welll, in any case, good luck!

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  5. I love the story of your small town since it's something I can hardly relate to. I grew up in the heart of Chicago and now live in a neighboring suburb. My life is about crowds of people...at the library today we had 57 children plus caregivers at story-time (a new record). Sometimes I long for the wide open spaces, but I have to admit I'm used to having many things so accessible. The story of the flood was just amazing...I don't know how people cope when they know the water is coming. Best of luck to you.

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  6. I can completely relate! I am from a small town as well. Sometimes I love it but I wish there were signings close.

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  7. I'm not very outgoing either... I hate calling people on the phone period, especially if it's a house phone, not a cell phone.

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  8. I do live in a city and still have the same problem making myself connect! I often think I'm going to walk into one of the indie bookstores and strike up a conversation. Of course, that's so out of my nature I doubt it will happen. But a book club at the library there would be a great idea & I imagine they'd love to have someone step up an volunteer to put it together. What the heck - it's not like you have a busy life or anything, lol!

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  9. Picturing Pierre ... makes me think of Sartre. He has a famous example where someone is looking for Pierre at a cafe and because Pierre is not there, there is instead a nothingness and everything in the cafe becomes not-Pierre ... Anyways, way off topic here - just wanted to say hi :-)

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