Putting the “Global” in SMUG

When I first named our august institution of social media higher education, calling it Social Media University, Global was a bit of overstatement. Yes, through the world-wide Web it did have the potential for global reach, and I did already have some visitors from other continents, but clearly our institutional naming (and my self-designation as “Chancellor”) was, as the English say, “cheeky.”

Over the ensuing months the “G” became more deserved, or at least less ridiculous, as we reached the point at which we had SMUGgles from every continent (except Antarctica). We have continued to grow, with now more than 700 people having joined the SMUG group in Facebook.

But it’s one thing to have a global reach via the Web; it’s another to personally visit other parts of the world. Starting tomorrow, SMUG will officially become a little more global in reality, as I am at the airport in Rochester right now traveling to the Netherlands for two presentations. I will be arriving in Amsterdam at 9 a.m. Sunday morning and taking a train to Nijmegen, where I will participate in a series of events led by Lucien Engelen, including Reshape09 and the Health 2.0 Challenge. On Thursday we will go back to Amsterdam, where I will be presenting at the first international E-Mental Health Summit, and then I’m spending the night in London, where I will be visiting British media on Friday morning before returning to Minneapolis.

I look forward to an interesting adventure, and will be regularly reporting on the events here and via Twitter if you follow me.

If any of you have tips for international travel, or about the places I’m visiting, I would appreciate any guidance.

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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