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Turning Strangers into Virtual Friends

Self-Storage Talk Community Manager John Carlisle describes how easily virtual friends can become real friends in the industry's best self-storage forum.

Amy Campbell

December 24, 2009

2 Min Read
Turning Strangers into Virtual Friends

If you’re like me and you log onto an online forum every day, you start to notice a strange phenomenon developing: people conversing like they’ve known each other for years when they’ve never actually met. 

I’ve witnessed this occurring on Self-Storage Talk, the online community affiliated with Inside Self-Storage that’s open to self-storage industry professionals. Since I joined the ISS team and began working with the site earlier this year, I feel like I’ve gradually come to know many of the users based solely on their posts.

Granted, I have met a handful of users in real life in Washington, D.C., at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo, but most are individuals writing posts anywhere from the other side of the state to the other side of the world. It feels strange to say this, but I feel like I’ve made quite a few new friends. 

For example, there’s MusicCity Gal, a fun-loving Nashville native who loves her family, country music and what she does for a living.

Astro, hailing from the bustling metropolis of Cashiers, N.C., seems like one of the most affable guys you’d ever want to meet. Or how about Storman, the quick-with-a-joke Californian who’s got a son poised to play wide receiver in college football? 

If I passed these people on the street, I wouldn’t recognize them. I couldn’t describe them to a sketch artist. But I feel like I know them, at least a little bit. That’s the beauty of Self-Storage Talk, which, when you think about it, is one example of the social media explosion of this decade.

Contrary to the opinions of many sociologists, people can and do form meaningful relationships—or at least begin them—over the Internet. I’m holding out hope that I can officially meet some of my online buddies at an industry event, such as  the next Inside Self-Storage World Expo in March.  

If you haven’t experienced what I’m talking about, you should give Self-Storage Talk a shot. It’s a place where you can get more than a recommendation on what management software to buy or how to keep pests out of your facility. It’s a place to share with people who understand what your day-to-day life is like. And as hokey as it is, the forum is a place to make friends, too. Who wouldn’t want more of those?  

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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