I’ve been thinking about connection, lately. Human connection, digital connection, connection with food. They’re all so closely linked together.
Our world has always operated on connections between people; the concept of social networks has been around since long before Facebook. These days we just use different mechanisms to make and maintain our connections. From Twitter to Tinder, there’s an array of tools available to us alongside the traditional face-to-face; many more ways to make friends, spread messages, network professionally and stay in touch. It can be argued (and I’ve done it myself) that all of this digital connection is disconnecting us from real life connections. But I’ve changed my mind about that. Now I tend to think embracing online tools and using them that way – as tools – can be hugely enriching to our real lives.
Connecting more, and more richly is the thinking behind our new Food Writers Members’ Facebook group. If you haven’t joined already, I encourage you to do so (click here https://web.facebook.com/groups/fwnzmembers/). It’s a way for us as members to connect – no matter where we are – every day, outside of physical events, and to share knowledge and information. It’s also a safe space to discuss important and sometimes sensitive issues, away from the scrutiny of the wider Facebook community. In my experience, closed groups are excellent for this; people feel safe to talk about things they otherwise may not. Working in the media space, as most of us do, means we do sometimes moderate our public statements. Closed groups are more private, so we can be more open.
When you ask to join, you will be asked if you’re a current financial member. It’s a gentle prompt to check that your membership fee is up to date. The group will become, I hope, a valuable benefit of membership, so we respectfully ask that you make that commitment to the group in order to participate.
Connection is also the theme of our conference, coming up in November. We’re heading to Hawke’s Bay this year, and we’re working on a really strong and enjoyable programme for you. Mark the dates – 3-5 November – in your diary and keep an eye out for good airfare and accommodation deals, and we’ll be in touch with more details very soon.
To connect in person, make sure you check the Facebook group and website for upcoming events – we have some excellent ones coming up. I look forward to connecting with you there.