My experience in Hawaii this time, as compared to last, is night and day in how I came away from it. This time, I went there with an open mind, ready to jump into the social culture, wanting to make connections and meet new friends. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. The people I met were awesome, very conscious of the impact that social networking has on the World. Many of them, like Ryan (@Hawaii on Twitter and just about everywhere else!), immerse themselves in social media on a daily basis.
Years ago, Ryan used to run a Mac-based dial-up bulletin board. He calls himself a “middle-aged Dad who loves Web 2.0”. He absolutely GETS social networking. He makes good use of all the services we know and love, such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and Delicious!
Back when I made the video a few years ago about reasons I wouldn’t move to Hawaii, Ryan took me to task. He wanted to make this experience different, so he made sure it rained! I felt so much more at home.
I was really impressed at how many people showed up to our little Tweetup. We had about 60 people in all. Ryan says that he has had ones with well over 100 people at times. People don’t realize how social of a culture Hawaiians are. They always have been, but the convergence of Web 2.0 and social media have made it even easier for them to connect.
Ryan says that all these years, he has felt that technology wouldn’t just sell you things… it would connect people and build communities, which is what he loves seeing hapen. He’s born and raised in Hawaii.
I asked Ryan what the general feel of social media is in Hawaii. It’s not confined to just us Geeks. You’ll see businsses there, as well as your everyday “joe”. People are learning, and the concept is quickly growing.
Hawaii definitely has personal interaction wrapped up. They have always been a sociable community. Now, by making use of places such as Twitter, they are showing the World exactly what impact social networking has had on Hawaii.
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