08/04/10 — Group promoting social media in Goldsboro

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Group promoting social media in Goldsboro

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 4, 2010 1:46 PM

A new group of Goldsboro social media enthusiasts is promoting Twitter, a social networking tool especially popular among celebrities, professional athletes and even businesses, along with other forms of social media, which they say will help keep Wayne County connected and growing.

Wilson Hines, a student at Wayne Community College and local entrepreneur, co-founded the new group called Goldsboro Tweets, where members can discuss and learn more about various kinds of technology and networking.

Goldsboro Tweets brings together experts and novices alike who want to keep up with the latest trends in social media or to simply learn about how this powerful new technology can be used effectively on both a personal and business level.

The group is named for the online social network, Twitter, in which users can communicate on their computers or phones by posting news, or Tweets, about themselves, but Hines said the group will focus on many different forms of social media -- including FaceBook, the iPhone and Android app market and new social networks that are cropping up all the time.

"People of all walks of life are welcome and the dress code is 'come as you are,'" he said. "There will be students, professionals, old people, young people. Bring your laptop, your smart phone or your dumb phone. You can even come if you have no clue what's going on, but you just want to know what all the fuss is about."

Hines said Goldsboro Tweets is not reaching out to any specific group, but welcomes tech enthusiasts, business people who want to know how social media can help them do business, church pastors hoping to reach more people with their ministries, students trying to learn how social media and new technology can change their studies -- and just anyone willing to share and learn about new technology.

"Social media has become relevant to the people of Wayne County because it has become relevant to larger communities," Hines said. "There's nothing wrong with being rural, but in 2010 there is something wrong with being disconnected; social media is the connector for the people, the businesses and the government."

Part of the group's point, he added, is to get Wayne County in the social media limelight so business investors will see it as a "vibrant, up-and-coming community with young, talented and innovative citizens," which in turn will attract new companies to the area and provide the county with economic growth and stability.

Hines said he estimated that the first few meetings would be more of a time for members to get to know each other over informal dinners at Murphy's Place or other venues, but soon he hopes to reach a point when the group has regular presentations by members or guests explaining new technologies or new ways in which social media has become useful.

The informal business plan for the first few meetings, he said, will include mobile tech platforms, FaceBook and Twitter rundowns, as well as "app talk," which he said is an important focus because of the rapidly expanding app market for iPhone and Android products.

They have "fantastic resources," he added. "Networking with people helps you find those nugget apps ... you just can't live without."

Hines said that he personally plans to tie his future with social media by looking into the ways the technology is evolving in the field of ministry.

"There are opportunities for churches in social media that would just astound you," he said. "In more metropolitan areas, church staff use social media for a new version of the 'announcements' on the bulletin and other connections into the people's lives that before could have never been made."

He said he would also like to eventually become a social media consultant for businesses, but that he will take advantage of those opportunities as they are revealed.

Hines also mentioned that he knew an old piece of technology that he said people have been using everyday for 30 years that social media has just started to exploit -- something with advantages that "businesses would die to have."

He said he plans to give a presentation on this technology at the meet-up, but that he wouldn't say what it is just yet.

"If I told you what that technology is, you would just scratch your head ... until I showed you what you can do with it," he said.

Goldsboro Tweets held its first meeting Tuesday at Murphy's Place in downtown Goldsboro. For more information see www.meetup.com /GoldsboroTweets/