Social media has become the buzzword of the new millennium. As more and more people begin to cocoon within their own little environment social interaction within the real world begins to deteriorate.
As a child I remember the neighborhood was a community. Your family interacted with other families living around them. Yards rarely had fences and everyone congregated in front of their houses. When they saw neighbors out they went out of their way to greet them and engage in conversation.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that neighborhoods and communities have changed. Now there are gated communities where people are locked behind enclosed fortresses. Everyone has a walled fence around their property and few people venture outside of their home or converse with anyone outside of their family.
Perhaps this is a function of growth and change or perhaps it is indicative of the fear people are developing about the horrors of society. No matter the reasons, people have become closed off from others.
Humans are by nature social creatures and this isolation is difficult for many to manage. With the proliferation of the Internet and immediate communication channels, communities have emerged in the digital world. People feel safe hiding behind a keyboard and screen knowing that if they are rejected there are thousands of others who will accept them.
These social media communities are similar to those created on this continent during the expansion westward in the early days of this country. Rather than travelling by wagon train or horse, the adventurers are arriving via the browser.
If the traveler feels comfortable, they may stay in the community building it up adding another resident. Many though are just passing through trying to find a place to settle where they feel comfortable. In this case the traveler may create an account in a community then wander away to continue searching for the right place.
In some cases like myself, I am more of a mountain man. I may be gone for an extended period of time then return to one settlement or another trading my wares with the local citizens then disappearing again into the wilderness.
From this perspective it sometimes becomes hard for a community to find you since you come and go with the seasons. What is needed is a mailbox or some way for the other settlers to know who this mysterious man is that wanders into their community.
For that reason I created a Social Media Hub. This is a type of address book where settlers can go to find out what my address in the various Social Media communities. The hub resides on my personal web site and graphically displays each of the social communities where I belong.
This is a Joomla module that I wrote. In the administration tool the Social Media Hub module will track your social media profile for 56 different social media web sites. For each of these you can enter your user name and it will direct site visitors to the appropriate profile page on each service.
So far it has worked quite well. I have set it to be able to adjust the icon size and icon type. Through testing on the 26 different social media sites I personally have accounts for it seems to be working as designed.
Now when someone wants to find me on a specific social media site all they have to do is visit my web page and click on the appropriate icon and it will redirect them to my profile allowing them to send me a message. The next time I wander out of the wilderness and visit that social media community I will have a message.