Social Media ClubNot very long ago, as we were delving into the intricacies of the social media revolution unfolding before us, my long-time friend, and now colleague, Catherine Novak and I decided it was time to launch the Victoria chapter of Social Media Club.

If somebody had told us then what this would lead to today, we would not have believed it.

After only 7 monthly meetings, we now have over 145 signed up on Facebook, 93 on LinkedIn), and 218 followers on Twitter. Turnout at our last meeting broke all previous records, and it continues to grow each time.

Now, before SMC Victoria came on the scene, there were many Tweetups already happening. These are great events – usually small gatherings, and often, but not always, informal and social.

The idea with introducing SMC to the mix was to identify and build a much larger community of social media enthusiasts within Greater Victoria, and to draw together a great deal of talent and information sharing, both within the community, and from abroad.

While SMC Victoria has attracted some amazing speakers, it has done something else. It has become something of a “hub” of activity, a catalyst in organizing and promoting many other great ideas.

Earlier this month, Twestival Victoria raised nearly $5,000 for a local charity, Power To Be. Despite Greater Victoria having the 15th largest metropolitan area population in Canada, we raised more money for Twestival here than any other city in Canada, save Toronto (which, by the way, is the 1st largest). Much credit for this is due to the boundless energy of one Janis Lacouvee. This said, part of the inspiration for Janis was coming to, and being part of, the Social Media Club. SMC was also a great venue through which to promote the event, as well.

Now, Victoria is also getting it’s own WordCamp, in November, and there is talk about bringing other charitable and community-oriented events to Victoria.

I feel very honoured to have had a small part to play in all of this, and will continue to work hard to promote Social Media Club, here and elsewhere, as an educational and inspirational hub to the community.