Last week for Thanksgiving, there was a flurry of articles, blogs and TV pieces about a certain Aussie journalist by the name of James West, who wanted to put social technologies to the test in an off-the-cuff human experiment.
Anyway, it began when James was inadvertently copied into a series of Thanksgiving emails from the Tran family in Miami, USA. After a couple of years, James started to piece together their family story. As you do. He created a heartfelt, quirky video plea to see if it couldn’t help him get an invite to the next Tran family Thanksgiving – and it worked! He bought a ticket, took three days off work and spent Thanksgiving getting to know the Trans, making unexpected but firm friends in the process.
A couple of my favourite videoblogs from this journey (or vlogs, as they are known) include James announcing that he’s off to Thanksgiving in Miami (Episode 4), and his sweet giving of thanks and recognition of each member of the family in Nearly Time to Say Goodbye Trans.
Here lies the potential of social media – people connect, and there doesnt have to be a reason; people help each other, just for the good of it; and with a bit of audacious thinking with some old-fashioned manners, life quickly becomes a little less ordinary.
In this instance, new relationships have been forged, lives changed, and that’s only the beginning.
Related posts: The Great James West Social Experiment (audioblog)