Hello Adrianne, welcome to our VIP room!
Laura Bazile @SocialRendezvous© (LB): Please provide a brief bio…
Adrianne George (AG): I am an American expat, a Washington, DC native. I lived in England and Belgium before moving to Sweden 4 years ago.
(LB): How would you describe the importance of social media in your work ?
(AG): Social media is paramount in my work because it facilitates community building, information sharing, and the ability to connect with others.
(LB): You are an American, expat who has lived and worked in 3 European countries…. Choose how to finish the sentence ?
(AG): “It is the starting point of BWIE and other projects” …/…
Living abroad has given me the opportunity to work in the niche markets to which I belong. For example here are three of projects I work on as a direct result of being an expat:
I started the Black Women in Europe™ blog in late 2006 after moving to Halmstad from Brussels. I felt the need to connect with other black women who were doing positive things. So I started researching what black women were doing and had done in Europe. That is the basis for the blog. The social network was a natural extension.
I also launched JobsinStockholm.com after moving to Sweden. It is an Internet job board for English speakers in Sweden. That was a natural extension of my background in Internet marketing and my being an expat. I understood the expat community and the frustrations of finding a job when you move to a new country.
I am co-editor of BlackExpat.com. The editor contacted me via a fellow expat in London. We put out 4 digital editions a year that feature interview with black expats from around the world about their current expat life.
(LB): BWIE is a place where people gather, discuss , share and create events depending on their interests and/or places they are living in. Do you feel the need / have you been asked to create recurrent face-to-face events to meet up members’ requirements ?
(AG): I would love to have regular and recurring regional events for the Black Women in Europe™ social network! I will be revamping my business model for the social network (I currently don’t have one) for 2011. Perhaps official events can be a part of it. I planned a meet up in Amsterdam one year I was there on business. I couldn’t pull one together on a trip to London. But one member planned an event in Switzerland and another member for Germany. I think that is fantastic! Any member with the inclination can plan an event in her city. I encourage that.
(LB): Can you offer any advice to community builders ? what are the tricks ? what are the tips ?
(AG): My advice would be to only build a community if you strongly identify with the community you want to build. I think the rest will be instinctual as you know at least the minimum of what the community will want. Then it takes word of mouth to get quality members. And quality is key. One should never focus on quantity when it comes to your community.
(LB): What have you got in the pipeline at the moment ?
(AG): Continuing my Swedish studies! 2011 preparations like considering a fresh look for the Black Women in Europe™ blog and social network. I will launch the AGCG Ad Network to enable companies with products and services for black women and expats to reach their market. It will also give Internet publishers that provide content that interests black women and expats to receive advertising. Everything else, I’ll keep close to my chest for the moment.