Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Social Media, Technology and The Hobby

Recent conversation on Twitter and a great post today at Sports Locker got me thinking about the ever evolving world we live in, our Hobby passions, technology and how they relate.

With the near extinction of brick and mortar hobby shops, collectors have needed to turn elsewhere to find their connection points with other like-minded individuals in the pursuit of trades, information, commentary, mindless bantering and playful trash-talking. All of these used to be staples at my local hobby shop until they closed their doors a few years ago.

Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, and message boards have provided an outlet for these connections and while nothing will truly replace face-to-face interaction, I can honestly say that I have made more meaningful connections since embracing the online collecting community than I did in years of frequenting my local hobby retailer.

Since utilizing Twitter, I have changed my opinion of its function as a true social networking tool. Intitially, as a blogger, I realized it was a viable broadcasting tool and also a convenient way to aggregate web content of interest to me. However, in the last few months, I have engaged in many real-time conversations, with a 2-way exchange of dialogue you can't necessarily get elsewhere.

For me, the culmination of social networking via the blogsphere came at The National in Cleveland in early July where I was able to meet and connect with Dave of Fielder's Choice and James of Sports Locker. In addition, I recently met Steve of White Sox Cards at a local ESPN event. These meetings, in all likelihood, would not have been made were it not for the blogsphere and Twitter.

Steve of the now retired Sports Card File, Chris of Freedom Cardboard, Mario of Wax Heaven, and Adam of Sports Cards Uncensored, and myself recently had a very lively exchange of thoughts and dialogue related to the nature of social networking and some of the inherent negative coverage online commentary seems to focus on at times, related to The Hobby.

Where am I going with all of this? I don't know really. I guess the idea of an eventual App on my Blackberry about the hobby I love got me thinking about how different the hobby landscape is now that technology has become such a huge part of it.

eBay, SportsBuy, CheckOutMyCards
Online Auction Houses
Online Merchants
Message Boards and Forums
Flickr, Picasso, Slide

If you transplanted yourself back in time, to say 1972, would you even know HOW to collect?


James said...

It's amazing how fast our hobby has changed and is still changing?

Personally, I enjoy the hobby so much more now with all of the social media elements. You get to hear and listen to so many more points of view and opinions.

Thanks for the link.

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