Connecting People in the RNR – The Online-Offline Regional Divide

Handshake 2.0 brings you edition #23 of Connecting People in the RNR with Stuart Mease.

Stuart Mease describes what he sees as a new regional divide – those online and those off.  He urges businesses and organizations who operate exclusively in either "region" to join ranks and connect in both.

Stuart Mease is an organizer of the Roanoke Creative Communities Leadership in Virginia.

To learn more about the Roanoke Creative Community Leadership Project, feel free to review the list of Creative Connectors, the press release (.pdf), more on the program from Virginia Tech, a post from Creative Connector Mike Dame, the site, Roanoke, Virginia's Creative Communities Leadership, this article from the Roanoke Times, and to follow the program on Twitter @roanokecreative.


"RNR" refers to the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley of Virginia.

Stuart Mease writes the blog Connecting People.  On Stuart Mease's about page, you can find myriad ways to connect with him online and in person.  You can find out more about Stuart Mease on Handshake 2.0.

Connecting People in the RNR
a video show by Stuart Mease

for Handshake 2.0


The opinions expressed by Stuart Mease or of those he interviews are solely their own and are not necessarily shared by Handshake 2.0 or its clients, sponsors, or advertisers.

300 Words
Hiring Online Using Twitter - A Progress Report


  1. Not to be egocentric, but are you talking to me?
    I’d like to hear about solutions for crossing this “digital divide.”
    Anyone know of solutions?

  2. Greetings, Sam!

    If the shoe Stuart describes seems it might fit, may I introduce you to Handshake 2.0, the media channel for Handshake Media, Inc., a full-service digital PR firm? It’s still who you know – and you personally know the founder! (That would be moi.)

    You already connect with people – people to each other – genuinely and expertly. Would love to show you this side of the divide so you can work your connecting magic everywhere.

  3. Sam, it’s for people who are exclusively in old, traditional communication vehicles (i.e. Rotary, Chamber, newspaper, broadcast TV, radio, etc. all of which are good!) or people who are exclusively in new media (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn,, Yelp, Pandora, etc.). The pure online and offline person needs to invest in some of the other to totally communicate and build a more robust brand.

  4. Thanks- So, for folks like me…what to do?…should we have social media experts to speak at the Rotary (and other civic/business) meetings?
    Can we develop/deploy a turnkey on-line component to traditional meetings?

  5. Yes to speaking at Rotary.

    And outsource your social media effort to Handshake 2.0. The only way I see to make all this work is if the company leader co-creates the content with us. So it’s not turnkey because social media content is a matter of the heart, mind, expertise, and experience. It takes some of the company leader’s time, but I have come up with a system to get the most heart, mind, expertise, and experience from the leader in the shortest amount of time with the most online effect – both from readers and from search engines – in a way that creates positive PR.

    Here’s what we do:

  6. there has to be an immersion of people using social media…. it’s not saying i have a facebook account so i am on social media… it is using features in facebook to communicate in efficient ways to broad audiences that are clearly not receiving the message… you have the phone, fax, letters, tv and even the internet and email in communcating and promoting your business… social media is just the latest tool and it is here to stay as you know…

  7. Sweet cardinals establish nesting and feeding “territory.” Cute bears mark with their claws and teeth the bounds of their territory. House cats don’t rub only for sensory pleasure. But we’re not animals and know that within reason there are real efficiencies and gains that we can make by overcoming animal territorial leanings.
    There is evidence for media territoriality.
    Social media change the scale of operation, the view of the “audience.” There may be no audience, no competitors; no one really cares.

    An economist looked at my business proposal and said the market was not big enough for its success. It was too regional! So I expanded the region! … to the world …via Ebay. We can expand our “region” at least for the market(s).
    I’m for social media and the power of new networks but we’ve got to get together, talk wth each other enough to care about many ipeople n the other adjacent geographic region before the cheap gas runs out. We have to have at least some face-to-face dialog (unprepared as we are from years of TV watching and within-family silence). We’ve got to make a real 2-region map, plot the location of each computer, give or sell it to every citizen, and assume that the people in it are who we’re working for and discussing and blogging about. We have to plot progress (or lack) in 20 performance measures for that mapped region … so we have data, pictures, graphs … not just electronic words.
    Maybe a non-profit can overcome some of the skepticism about the perceived pitches from governments, internal agencies, and politicians.
    We have to get hooked up internally. All residents do not subscribe to newspapers, all do not have computers. We have to provide incentives for getting and staying connected and no rewards (not punishment) for remaining un-connected. I can imagine many diverse incentives … from grocery coupons to random cash awards to a percentage of cumulative gains of something (funds?) within the mapped region.
    I’d like to see the result of changes in a social media “citizen satisfaction index” (related to their objectives (e.g. my list)) over a few years. I’ll bet progress can be shown for the region relative to nearby small regions or counties without the unified effort being proposed.
    This activity is not for fun; it is essential for the energy-short and warmer new world where we now live.

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