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Q. What’s the difference between Boston, Massachusetts and Brisbane, Queensland?

A. A lot.

At opposite ends of the earth, for one thing. Different climates and time zones.

I could go on.

But the point of this post is really that Boston has an obviously thriving Social Media Club and Brisbane doesn’t have one at all.

Well, not just yet, but I’m working on it.

Actually, I’ve been working (or rather, not working) on it since Social Media Club (SMC) Co-founder Chris Heuer prompted (challenged?) me, at BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas last November, to get one going.

What Social Media Club is about

The SMC website explains what the organization is about:

Social Media Club is being organized for the purpose of sharing best practices, establishing ethics and standards, and for promoting media literacy. This is the beginning of a global conversation about building an organization and a community where the many diverse groups of people who care about social media can come together to discover, connect, share and learn.

The Brisbane initiative

Recently, as suggested by Chris, I set up a Brisbane page on the SMC wiki, as a way of testing the waters.

And now I’ve been stirred to more immediate action by reading today that the wiki page for Boston’s SMC gathering for this month carries a notice that would disappoint some but gladden the heart of any organizer:


Time for action.

We might not get a full house straight away for Brisbane gatherings, but there is no question that there are plenty of dedicated users of various social media networks and tools in Brisbane, more generally in South East Queensland and even just over the border in northern New South Wales at the southern edge of the Gold Coast, where I live (Tweed Heads). How keen they would be to gather offline on a regular or irregular basis is an interesting question.

A challenge

And here’s a challenge I expect will appeal to at least some true Queenslanders: this would be the first SMC in Australia, unless of course some of those Southern smarties get wind of this and try to upstage us (Note: Sydney is too far for me now to commute for a monthly meeting and anyway my Sydney friends think I’ve moved to Queensland – some even make rude remarks about white shoes – so I might as well nail my newly red colours to the mast of the northern state).

I’m going to be in Brisbane on Friday, March 28, so hope to meet with a few people then who would be interested in taking this idea forward. In the meantime, if you have an interest in knowing more about this venture – better still, participating – please check out the wiki site and get in touch.

As the wiki page says:

Are you interested in helping to form a Social Media Club Brisbane Chapter? Send an email to [SMCBrisbane (at)]. Include your name, title, area of expertise, company (if appropriate), address, email and phone number.

Pass it on.

It would also be great to hear from colleagues in other parts of the world who are active in Social Media Club local teams – if that’s you and you leave a comment here it might help us to get a sense of what the experience and benefits can be.

I know we all live a lot online, but the Australian Blogging Conference last year in Brisbane and BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas reminded me that getting together face to face with other social media enthusiasts has its own special attraction – and the beer tastes better than when it’s virtual.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).