Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Putting my online house in order: a special message to my peoples on Facebook

My Christinaswwworld blog feeds into my Facebook profile, and nobody else is paying attention to it right now... so as I think about starting to blog again, the dear family and old friends who I've found through Facebook over the past year or so are the audience I find myself wanting to write to.

Just in case you didn't know this about me, my calling in this life has turned out to be organizing creative ways of bringing people together to make good things happen. Some of you will remember that since way back in High School I have loved throwing parties and designing fun events. For over a decade now, I've been making a quasi-career out of it. I've done a lot of pretty wacky community building and community event stuff in the online world, and in Africa, as well as at the intersection of the two.

Over the coming year I'll be developing yet another social experiment online, involving the use of several platforms for managing my connected life and making good things happen. My overarching aim, as I set out to start modeling these new ideas, is to increase the positive impact that participating on the Internet can have in the world, on real peoples' lives.

In all of my past online social experiments, an important key to success has been rooting my work for the world at an online home, where I could feel comfortable to let my cyber hair down and really be the real me. Over the past couple of months I've been agonizing over where to really put down those online roots as I begin the new project I have in mind. Just yesterday I finally realized that Facebook - which I hadn't actually been considering - currently offers the very best of what I personally need in an online home. Namely: YOU!

So many of you from different parts of the world I've once called home are here! You are the cozy furniture sets and the artwork on my cyberwalls. You are the music and the interesting books that I keep on my shelves. You are my memories, and the reassuring voices that I hear in my head as I go about my day. The faces I now see daily at Facebook reflect the real world journey I've experienced as a serial expat, as a work at home mom, and as a global thinking social entrepreneur. You are "where I come from" as the next part of my professional journey now begins.

Seeing your faces online, I am sometimes overwhelmed by all that I want to know about you now. I imagine the stories we'd tell each other if we found ourselves seated next to each other on a plane for 5 hours, or if we ran into each other again at another conference. If you were sitting in front of me over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, what paralells and coincidences would we find in what we've each learned about this world, and experienced in this life? I so long to know your stories - the paths you followed, the challenges you've overcome, the kind of parents you've chosen to be... I am so very grateful to have you in my life, and it's important to me personally to keep nurturing that as I continue my work. Y'all keep me grounded, and I love you (and Facebook) for that.

So with this note I wanted to give you all a heads up that over the next year or so, I'm going to be thinking more deliberately about the way that I engage with my wwworld at Facebook. In addition to blogging notes about some of the experiences we've shared and inviting you to share your stories (I'll tag you when there's something I particularly hope YOU personally will see), I'm also going to start playing around with some of the other tools that Facebook offers... in ways that can hopefully help us get to know each other better. Certainly you are not at all obliged to participate in any of my wacky experiments here, but my sincere hope is that at some point you will. I'm not trying to sell you or convince you of anything except that I value the opportunity to have known you in the real world and to share my life with you now.

The Internet has long been criticized as impersonal, but the way my Facebook experience is shaping up convinces me that it doesn't have to be that way any more. As a social entrepreneur, I have come to believe that a really important key to co-creating the kind of world we all want to see lies in finetuning how we use today's online tools; especially for deepening our relationships with the people we know, like, respect and love.

So hang onto your hats, and get ready for what will hopefully be a fun Facebook rooted ride in the next year or so. I, for one, am really glad you are part of my wwworld right now. May many good things come!

.piece, peace and peas...

Christina

(aka: Tina, C, Kirabo, Jordan, Haitsma)

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