Hawaii Social Media Club Tops Charts

Full house for the October 9, 2009 Social Media Club Hawaii at ING Direct in Waikiki, Honolulu.The Hawaii chapter of the Social Media Club may be the fastest-growing chapter in the country. Board member Laura Kinoshita posted membership counts apparently provided by the national organization, showing Hawaii at the top with 46 paid members:

  1. Hawaii – 46
  2. Austin – 38
  3. Chicago – 38
  4. Washington DC – 35
  5. San Francisco – 30

The Social Media Club is an international 501c6 nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that was founded in 2006 by Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells. There are over 120 chapters around the world, including Hawaii, which unlike most chapters covers the entire state, rather than a single city.

Back in 2010, Hawaii chapter founder and outgoing president called for a concerted push to become an official chapter with at least 10 dues-paying professional members. Two months ago, current president Tara Coomans announced that they would start charging non-members to attend certain SMCHI events.

Coomans pointed out that the club was providing real value but incurring real costs, although it had benefited from support from sponsors and generous venues and vendors. Event fees would help cover administrative costs, she said, adding, “We hope that some of these fees can also help SMCHI begin to bring in some knowledgeable social media leaders from around the country.

The club’s stronger focus on growing its professional membership, and providing more services to practitioners as well as the public, appears to be paying off.

“Your support to this non-profit organization helps expand digital media literacy and ethical behavior in social media,” Kinoshita writes. “Social Media Club Hawaii will be better and will be able to do more with your support!”

Ryan Ozawa

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa has immersed himself in new technologies and online communities since the days before the web. From running a dial-up BBS in the early '90s to exploring today’s dynamic world of "Web 2.0" and social media, he has long embraced and evangelized the ways in which technology can bring people together.