My friend and colleague Lonnie B. Hodge, who is based in Guangzhou, China, doesn’t just “think outside the square” – he left the square thinkers behind long ago. And he is always coming up with bright ideas and often I find in the morning that he has implemented them overnight. I try to keep up, but I don’t think he sleeps.

Lonnie’s latest idea – or rather, the latest one I know of – is the Social Media Consultants site.

This has been launched to provide a space for social media consultants and PR 2.0 specialists to be more easily found by potential clients and business collaborators, with specific attention to being findable by geographic location and specialization. We also see it as a virtual coffee shop for discussion – via blog posts and comments right now – of matters of common interest.

We’ve started out with a WordPress site, because that was relatively easy to get up and running without a whole lot of configuring and with minimum palaver.

We’ve issued general invitations via Twitter and plan to get the word out as widely as we can. We’re encouraging those responding positively to post about who they are and what they do and to use social media tools, including audio and video, in the process, and to list and link to their Twitter, LinkedIn and other links.

Basic requirements to be able to participate are as simple as we could make them:

  1. You should have an active blog that you update regularly (we too are guilty of not nearly enough updates, but we’d like you to have a presence on the net)
  2. You must have worked in or been active in Social Media or PR 2.0 for at least a year.

Have we worked out all the rules of engagement, moderation, etc? Absolutely not. We are truly making it up as we go along and we know that will bother some and please others.

One thing we do know is that we want it to be truly international. Which means that, among other things, language is going to become an issue at some point.

Along with all the other issues. In the meantime, we are having fun.

And there is no fee – and never will be – for consultants and specialists to list themselves on the site.

If you want to be part of that and meet those couple of criteria above, please contact me via the Contact page here or tweet me on Twitter – @deswalsh – or Lonnie @lonniehodge.

And note that if you are a startup or the provider of an established social media platform you are welcome also to contact us about listing some informative information (as distinct from a pitch).

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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).