Blogging to Build Community

As someone who has moved around a whole bunch, I’m always on the lookout for ways to contribute to a sense of belonging in whatever space I happen to be occupying– physically or mentally.

When I was living in Toronto a few years ago, going to school and “working” an (unpaid) internship, I decided to explore more of the potential for digital community and I joined Twitter. One of the first folks to send me a message was Kevin Wilder @thegulfscream

He urged his audience to check out an ebook/podcast that he was writing, along with Carrie Rollwagen @crollwagen, called Some New Trend. So I did. And it was a really fun read. (Go back and read it all here right now.)

Not only did I like their story but I started to dig some of the other content they were putting out. I began to engage with them here and there: leaving a comment on their posts or sending a tweet in their direction. It was fun. I even got them to send me some stickers and I did a little international promotion when I moved to Ottawa.

I posted a Some New Trend sticker on a post outside the Château Laurier and then THEY posted a post about that post. Post.

A couple of years into tweeting and blogging, I felt like I had really discovered a way to make connections outside the traditional avenues. It was different than the friendships I was developing face-to-face, but it was still significant. I was engaging with like-minded people in a whole new way — and sometimes even a way that connected my experiences of a digital community with my experiences of a physical community. How cool is that?

By the time I moved to Halifax, I knew I could really use the tools of digital media to help build and discover a sense of community in a new city. It didn’t happen overnight…it’s an ongoing process! I’m still working at building that community for myself and others and to be as engaging, engaged, and supportive as possible. I went to a tweet-up, Podcamp, Bookcamp, and more.

When my pal Steph from moved to Halifax shortly after me, I reached out to her and we attended Podcamp together. The she introduced me to, who invited me to blog for (where I post as Mindful Echo). See where I’m going with this?

From there, I was welcomed into an FB group for Halifax bloggers to chat, ask questions, share links, etc. about blogging in Halifax, NS. It’s all connected, people!

Sidenote: I’m now an admin of the Halifax Bloggers FB group and if any of you readers are also local bloggers, please comment on this post or send me a message on Twitter. We are an open, inclusive group and would love to have you join us.

So, what’s another way to build community? Shopping locally, of course!

When I saw that Carrie had put out a Kickstarter to help publish a book on doing just that (shopping locally, that is), I obvi had to send some support her way for The Localist Book: A story of shopping local. Unfortunately, her paperbacks are only listed as being shipped within the US, so that option was out. (But I’ll gladly order one when you can send up to Canada- nudge, nudge!) So instead I opted for the Nail Art option! So fun!

I asked her to write “community” because it really encapsulated a lot for me: from the reason I wanted to support her book to the way I feel about participating in these campaigns to how I feel about using this blog as a platform to lend further support and strengthen community connections.


I think they turned out fabulous. Best of luck with the book, Carrie!


Other posts I’ve written on My Community:

A Typical Saturday or Why I’m Tired or Everything Local

30 Acts of Kindness

My Selfish Altruism: Being a Volunteer


11 thoughts on “Blogging to Build Community

  1. Thank you so much! Not being able to send Kickstarter books to Canada is a bummer, for sure. The program only lets me say a blanket yes or no to international shipping, and I couldn’t figure out how to price the shipping fairly. But I’ll keep working on it, and there will for sure be an option to get the book to Canada once it comes out. Thanks for all your support, both with this book and Some New Trend!

  2. yay! I am excited to see where our amazing Halifax Bloggers facebook group goes this year! I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about how social media, our online connectivity and activism are all linked lately…. 🙂

  3. This is really great (and fun!). Love the nails!

    You know I am all about community. We *are* connected. I think sometimes people just forget.

    Lovely post! *dashes off to IG* 😀

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