I utilize Social media for intel, and for appropriation. I have, (and indeed collect) people (in particular locals in the know, those with skills, and the grey/black market doorways) as social network ‘friends’. This means that I can put a message, request for info or items, question, or warning [if appropriate] out to a large group of individuals that i have some social capital with.
This approach has saved me time, money and needless irritation on many occasions and has also helped to position me within the web of the local social hierarchy [i even run a local community page to assist with this]. I try to be known for knowing things and helping people trouble-shoot any issues they have.
Great approach! I was in the camp of not maintaining friendships, because I believed that friends simply stay. True friends really do but in more casual relationships it helps a lot to do some easy “maintenance” via Facebook, Twitter or Email. For example you find something that could interest them and send it over. Strike a short conversation and thats it. That way you build this sort of social capital that can help you to make things happen.
This is not only just for profit but you also stay in the loop of whats going on in their world and can elevate a casual relationship to something more meaningful.
A couple who are friends of mine have made a business out of this. They are event organizers and help promoting new products. They are both natural born socializers and do this by simply networking and being at the heart of several important communities (so they have their own local Facebook community for the city and they launch themed events, for example she is doing a series of “power woman parties” for successful business woman and so on).
Its funny to see how they harness their network and ability to connect with people and created a whole business around it.
The same matters for us preppers to get the best possible information and be a person of authority. This is a huge job and I’m not sure if I would really want to become such a major socializer like my event organizer friends, but I did realize how important it is to build and maintain meaningful relationships for mutual benefits.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")