Networking with @rvabusiness

Nathan Hughes (@rvabusiness), co-founder of the Social Media Club Richmond (RVA), visited our iPadJournos class on Thursday to discuss the upcoming networking event of the club. “Single and Social” will take place on place on Feb. 21 at the Barksdale Theater.

By Dana Carlson (@anecdotesofdana)

Hughes is not a journalist, although he has visited mass communications classes in previous semesters as a guest speaker, but works as a real estate agent with local restaurants. While Hughes said, “Twitter and Facebook aren’t for everyone,” the social media presence allows users to “find hashtags they are interested in; find people to talk to.” For instance, Hughes follows #RVAdine for the latest news and updates on the Richmond dining experience, restaurants  and food posts.

Hughes reminded social media users, particularly on Twitter, to interact online with their followers to create a brand and online image for oneself in order to maintain interest. “Everyone likes talking about themselves,” Hughes said, “but it’s not all about you, learning about what other people are doing is how you grow.”

Because social media as a networking and reporting tool is still so new, Hughes said,  “You’re young and may not think you have experience,” then added, “nobody does, it’s still developing.”

Founded in 2009, the Social Media Club has a mission to mesh business ideas and practices with a networking and social component. Events are designed to extend conversations that start online into the community. By inviting guest speakers and members of the local community to interact with the inclusion of an educational component, the SMCRVA fosters mingling and idea promotion.

The author of the book The Science of Single, Rachel Machacek,  blogger Catherine Gryp of Simply Solo, and moderator Karri Peifer, editor of are among the panelists to speak at the upcoming event our class will attend. The theme, how social media and online dating brings people together, will provide a forum to discuss the way modern relationships have been impacted by social networking.

Additionally, Hughes enticed the class with promises of good food, opportunities to find new media industry connections, as well as the prospect of live tweeting and collecting new Twitter handles to follow.

Past questions on the conversational landscape of SMCRVA events have included concepts like “how do big brands tap into local communities?” Future events may include topics such as how journalists should monitor what they retweet and if they have an ethical responsibility to fact check or police bias through what they repost on their profiles. “You look stupid if you retweet something that is wrong,” said Hughes. There is a debate about a higher standard for journalists, he said.

Events of the Social Media Club can be followed on Twitter at #SMCRVA.

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