How has Social Media Empowered you?

I entered a competition at Geoff Livingston's Blog in the US ( and won!

"Interested in winning a copy of Welcome to the Fifth Estate? Then here’s your chance: The five people who best tell how social media has empowered them to make a difference for their business, their community or their family will win a copy of the book".

Here is the entry I made:

How has social media made a difference to my life?
I live in a suburb of Manchester, England, called  Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Since I retired a couple of years ago I have become a community reporter through People’s Voice Media ( It has enabled me, despite my mobility restrictions as a polio survivor, to be as active in my local community as I could ever wish. I am running a project to get the  memories of what has been called "the greatest generation", who lived through World War 2 on video, though my volunteering at Chorlton Good Neighbours (chorltongoodneighbours.blogspo...)
I founded, with two other people, Chorlton’s Green Festival, now in its third year. Our latest festival ( had over 6,000 people attending, and was much enhanced by its use of facebook and twitter (@biggreenfest), both with over 1000 followers. I now regularly tweet
(@bernardio) and as president of my local Rotary club (Manchester Breakfast, district 1050), I
am try to bring my club into the world of social media, doing a workshop to show how it can be used. Tomorrow night  (01-05-11) we have sponsored a roundtable discussion on current events with 5 students  from 5 continents.This was advertised through a YouTube video ( and will be posted online after the forum.

Social  Media does not substitute for face-to-face contact, but for me it works best in creating and
strengthening  cross cutting ties in a local community, without it becoming too inward looking. Nor is it just for go-getting young peopl - older people and those who sometimes find it difficult to participate in other ways can use it to enhance their involvement in the local community.

Bernard Leach

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