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Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell
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acampbell@vpico.com

Building Self-Storage Friendships Online

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A couple of weeks ago, I saw a preview for a different kind of documentary. It’s about a young woman and her quest to meet all of her online friends to discover if the connection they have on the Web would translate into the real world. It's an interesting concept. Are online friends simply people you chat with occasionally? Or can you develop real and true friendships with people you only interact with via a keyboard and computer screen?

Over the past couple of years, Self-Storage Talk has emerged as a close-knit community where forum members not only help each other with business challenges—and celebrate successes—but SST has also become a place where self-storage managers, who often work alone day in and day out, can have pseudo co-workers. Sure, the person you’re “talking with” isn’t in the office with you, but she or he is just a few mouse clicks and typed words away. That person can be your cheerleader, sounding board, someone to vent to, or even offer a word of caution.

Here’s a great example of the power of friendship on SST. A few days ago, Shaekirk, an active forum member, hopped online in the early morning hours to report her home, garage and truck had caught fire. Shae is a self-storage manager in the San Francisco Bay area. While she lives on site, the fire didn’t spread to the facility. The cause is still under investigation.

Immediately, several forum members chimed in, asking about her and her family’s welfare. In her time of need, Shae was touched by their concern and well wishes. She posted, “It's unreal how attached I've become to my support system on SST, especially now. You all mean the world to me, my friends!”

So can online friendships be true ones? Absolutely! For many of us, relationships—both personall and business ones—often begin through e-mail, forums, texts or other non-face-to-face interactions. With all the texting, tweeting and other online “chatting” we do every day, there’s no doubt we’ll continue to develop different kinds of relationships with new people across the globe.

It’s kind of like high school. You hang with one friend in algebra, another in English, and yet another at lunch. You may never have all three of these friends in the same room at the same time, but they’re your support team, and the ones with whom you share your triumphs and failures. Find your own support team at Self-Storage Talk

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