A friend of mine named Andrew Roush said it best when he said, "Common Interests are the new demographic." Common interests are the glue that hold social media together. They are what bring people of different ages, backgrounds, geographic locations, races, income status and education together and get them communicating.
Its common interests that start a conversation about the upcoming Presidential Election between a business professional in New York, a farmer in the Midwest, and a mom with four kids in Utah. None of them have met before and all are quite different, but all have some opinion about who should be President.
The wonderful technologies that have been developed in Social Media are bringing people together in ways never before thought possible. Because it is so easy for people to communicate about their common interests, there is something for everyone in social media, they just don't know it yet.
When I say there is something for everyone in Social Media, I mean everyone. Short or tall, young or old, dog lover or cat lover, Star Wars geek, music lover, business professional, or soccer mom, there is something in the billions of pages of content and millions of users that will interest everyone.
My favorite thing to do is to show someone something that interests them in social media and to see that light go on when they finally "get it". Its like when I taught my son to ride his bike. At first, he didn't understand why riding a bike would ever be fun. He thought it was something I was doing to torture him. Until the day he figured out how to ride on his own, and the light went on and he "got it". Social media is a great and has something for everyone, people just don't "get it" yet. But they will.
So how do you find people who share common interests with you? Here is a list of tools that can be used to find conversations about a particular topic. This is not an all inclusive list, but a good place to get started.
Technorati is a blog search engine. It regularly spiders content on blogs and allows you to search through and find blogs that might interest you.
Boardreader is a search engine for forums, blogs, twitter, and a number of other social media.
Would you like to know what people are talking about on twitter, go to the search and type in a word, and the most recent tweets with that word will pop up. Start following people who talk about things you are interested in.
Check out some of the social bookmarking sites and see what people are bookmarking. www.digg.com, www.stumbleupon.com, www.delicious.com.
Social Network groups
Each social network has some form of groups that people who belong to the network can join. Search through them and look for something that interest you.
Feel free to post any other tools that you think might be helpful.
Not sure what social network to join? Can't find anything on a particular topic or interest? Need some help getting started? Just ask, I am glad to help. ljjones6 at gmail dot com.