Andrew Wright of the Rotary Club of Cary-Kildaire, Cary, North Carolina, USA, uses Twitter to connect with Rotarians and Rotaract clubs from around the world.
ndrew Wright's club was so excited about their use of Twitter that they made two videos extolling its virtues, which they posted on YouTube.
Wright, of the Rotary Club of Cary-Kildaire, Cary, North Carolina, USA, said the club uses the social networking site to contact Rotarians and Rotaractors all over the globe. But the really exciting part of it is being able to link up with other clubs on projects.
"We asked the question would anyone be interested in partnering with our club on an international service project," Wright said. "Within minutes of asking that question, we had a positive response from a club in India. The opportunity could be huge for us."
Wright's club is just one of many who have used social networking as a valuable tool. Rotary International now has a presence on several sites, including
. As of 12 February, RI had 18,418 fans on its official Facebook page.
Like many Rotarians, Todd Laurie, of the Rotary Club of University Hills, Denver, Colorado, found that demands from his professional life often took a toll on his ability to keep in touch with other members of his club.
"I was already fairly active on LinkedIn. When LinkedIn added the group dimension to their Web site, it felt like a great opportunity to find other Rotarians with whom I would be able to connect," he says.
After searching the site for and recruiting other members who listed Rotary as one of their interests or activities, Laurie started several online discussions about member retention and club identity. Rotarians responded enthusiastically.
"I was connected again!" exclaims Laurie. "And the ideas that were being shared were invaluable. So much information and so many ideas were quickly being communicated across the globe."
In less than a year, Laurie's forum had attracted more than 1,500 Rotarians. Many were joining as a way to help them meet up during their travels, get involved with Rotary club projects and grants programs, and learn about guest speakers for their club meetings. The forum eventually formed the basis for
RI's official LinkedIn group
Laurie says the best part of social networking is its ease and global appeal.
"The almost real-time communications, the ease of finding and connecting with other Rotarians from around the world, the realization that Rotary really is this big and we are all part of the same Rotary family -- awesome."