What’s on the iPod: Eyes by Rogue Wave

Webinar news: Due to Hurricane Sandy’s impact and the subsequent snow storm yesterday, our special guest presenter is unavailable for today’s webinar. We’ve rescheduled for December 6th — 3 pm ET/noon PT. And we’re offering a discount as our thank you for your patience. You can register here for the December 6th webinar. There are still a few seats left!

I’m slowly working my way back to Facebook and Twitter. I avoided it for the most part yesterday. I don’t want to read any comments on the election from either side. It’s over. Time to try getting along like adults.

As I start to feel the effects of colder weather keeping me indoors more often (though it is time I start that outdoor exercise regimen again),  I’ve been looking for ways in which to meet new people and stretch my relatively small local network.

You know the feeling — you’re a bit isolated at home with no coworkers (beyond your email chums). While that has many advantages (lack of office politics), it can be a little too solitary. Here are some ways to meet new people: Want to join a pickleball club? How about a book group? If you can dream it up, there’s a group for you. Locally. You can search within the parameters you define — how about a roller coaster riding club within 20 miles of where you are? If it doesn’t exist, you can create it.

Writer forums. Yes, I run the 5 Buck Forum with Anne Wayman. I love it, and you may, too. But any writer forum or group you join online should speak to your needs. What do you want out of a group? What don’t you need? What do you expect for your money? Know before signing up if the group’s offerings align with what you hope to get out of the experience.

Online courses. Make sure the courses you join appeal to you first, and also check out the level of interaction you’ll receive. Join the forums. Discuss. Offer to meet other students who are local for some offline discussion.

Volunteer opportunities. Local colleges, charitable groups, and more are looking for help. By donating your time or talent, you can meet new people while doing some good in your community.

Lectures. My alma mater hosts regular events, including lectures. It’s a great way to mingle with like-minded folks while learning something new.

Coffee shops. Why not meet people while you work? Set up shop once every few weeks in the local coffee shop. Soon you’ll not only know the regulars — you’ll be one.

How do you connect with others?

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  • Paula November 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Walking the dog is a great way to get to know neighbors. If you don't have a dog, just walk to the corner store or mailbox.

    The other day I wound up chatting with two neighbors while walking to the mailbox. One was someone I've only talked to a handful of times in the 8 years or so she's lived across the street from me. I learned she's always "envied" my "cute" house (her words). The other one is a guy up the street who owns a painting company. He was closing up his van, so I said I might be asking for estimates soon. He recognized my from my walks and said he'd be glad to stop by, but said he's not taking on any more exterior work until spring. Hey – at least some neighbors will understand if I have a green house and brown porch rails and pillars all winter!

    There is one neighbor across from me who actively (and obviously) avoids anything more than a quick wave to neighbors. I've seen her avoid eye contact and dart inside if she sees anyone around. Needless to say her reputation around here is "the rude one."

    Wherever you are, be open. Be friendly. It's not rocket science.

  • Anne Wayman November 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I say 'hello' to people… amazing how that simple word will connect me.

  • Lori November 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Paula, we don't have a dog, and the goldfish refuses to budge. 🙂 Instead, we had a Halloween party. Got to know some very nice people. 🙂

    It is amazing, Anne. The best way to get to know someone!

  • Devon Ellington November 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Chamber of Commerce — the best resource a freelancer can have.