Saturday, 18 August 2012

Karen and Margaret

Karen Strunks (@karenstrunks on twitter) is probably known to most people who might be reading this. A generous online communicator, someone who makes things happen and who builds bridges between online and face-to-face relationships, in person Karen is warm and welcoming with a big friendly smile.

Scrolling through my twitter feed this morning I spotted this tweet from Karen:

I felt immediately worried and at the same time bad that I hadn't spotted earlier tweets about this. A quick click on Karen's profile and I found these tweets:

Still worried about what was wrong with Karen, I clicked on to @createdineire's profile and tweets, wondering who this was. It took me to Margaret, Karen's mum, who I recognised as I had met her at the most recent Social Media Cafe in Birmingham. (Karen organises the Social Media Cafe.) And reading through Margaret's tweets I saw the most lovely thing - updates on Karen's health and lots of thoughtful and caring conversations between Margaret and Karen's friends on twitter. Here's just one of many examples:

I quickly ascertained from Margaret's tweets that Karen had an operation on gallstones, and felt very relieved to read that she is getting better and Mum approves of the care she was getting in hospital.

When I started using twitter two and half years ago I never anticipated seeing it used in such a caring way. The public conversations and updates from Margaret have enabled Karen's followers and friends to keep track of her improvement and send get well messages. I feel as though I'm always learning, from people like Karen, about helpful and creative ways to use twitter. Now Margaret has become my twitter heroine, which is why I wanted to write and share this story. (I also love this poem on Margaret's blog, which I will now follow.)

Get well soon Karen x

In case you don't know Karen, here's some of the stuff she does and makes happen:

She initiated, runs and is the Creative Director of the 4am Project (it's brilliant, check it out)
She runs the Birmingham Social Media Cafe
She manages a hyper local blog for Wake Green Park in Moseley
She is part of the brilliant Talk About Local team
She blogs about all sorts at A bit more of Karen
And somehow she also has time to be a professional photographer! (site here)


  1. I just wanted to share here the lovely tweets from Karen and Margaret the day I posted this:

    From Karen:
    @dosticen I'm in a puddle of happy tears after reading your lovely post. @createdineire is very special. Thank goodness for twitter :) xxx

    From Margaret:
    @dosticen Thank you Lorna. You have prompt me to start my Blog again.It's great that she is home again what a week she had on a liquid diet.

    I look forward to Margaret's next blog post :)

  2. Hi Lorna, a belated thank you for your wonderful post! I'm on the mend now and starting to feel more 'me' again. It took a while.

    I've always loved twitter, for a multitude of reasons. I was especially glad of it when I went into hospital. When my mum came to visit me she would read out all the tweets of well wishes and it really gave me a boost, even though I couldn't tweet back.

    Thank you again for the lovely post :) x

  3. How absolutely lovely. This is what social media and blogging is all about!
    Liz / LyzzyBee / @LyzzyBee_Libro