We all know that the desire to ‘belong’ is part of human nature. Realising that you share beliefs and are able to connect on the same level with friends and peers is a very satisfying thing – and I feel very fortunate that there is plenty of scope for this in my line of work.
Over the past few days, I’ve had some great conversations online with fellow photographers, writers and outdoor aficionados. These have entertained, inspired, challenged and guided me – and I’d like to share a number of my experiences briefly with you here.
Last Friday, I sent the following message out on Twitter:
The conversations which followed continued right the way through the weekend. They were so engaging and involved additional people who jumped on board, some of which I had not spoken to previously. As a result, I was able to gain new insights into the way others work as well as offer my own opinions. All very rewarding.
Incidentally – if you’re not familiar with Alex Roddie or Chris Townsend, be sure to look them up on Twitter; they are two very knowledgeable chaps whose work and opinions I respect greatly. They are also very approachable.
Twitter has become my daily communication tool over the past few years, opening up many opportunities. One recent development for me has been to take part in monthly #OutdoorBloggers chats. The latest one of these, on Tuesday, began with a question about sustainability – but led in so many engaging directions, including a mini-discussion about using food dehydrators for preparing camping food!
Off the back of that one-hour ‘meet-up,’ I was contacted directly by someone seeking advice about how to get the ball rolling when submitting features to magazines. After an initial natter, I directed them to one of my Q&A 500 posts – How Do I Get Published In A Magazine? A few reassurances later and I think (I hope!) I was able to offer some encouraging guidance…
I love being able to answer questions, and it was equally nice to hear from a listener of the podcast recently who, as well as asking their own question, also took the time to give some great feedback about the show.
I’ve been trying to make more of an effort with what I post on Instagram recently, too. Looking at who views my pictures, when they do so and the sort of images they prefer has enabled me to build my community on that platform.
I shared the picture above, showing my old Suunto Vector, which is in need of repair. I asked for suggestions about how I might go about this and sure enough, a number of thoughts were sent my way. Time to get my DIY hat!
Real-world networking is great and very important… but what’s not to love about building connections from the comfort of your living room?!