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It's Social Media Day -- again!

Doug Gross
Pensacola, Florida's James Amerson says he got involved in this outdoor photography project through social media.
Pensacola, Florida's James Amerson says he got involved in this outdoor photography project through social media.
  • Thursday is the second annual Social Media Day
  • The observance, created by blog Mashable, includes hundreds of events worldwide
  • CNN iReporters tell stories of discovering communities, gaining skills

(CNN) -- Happy Social Media Day!

Thursday is the day to step back and consider all that the world of social networking has brought us, or so say the blogging folk over at content partner Mashable.

And we're not just talking about FarmVille.

In its second year, Social Media Day is described by Mashable as "a day to celebrate the revolution" brought on by sites like Facebook and Twitter (and, lest we forget, their forefathers like Myspace and Friendster).

Mashable, the blog that made its bones following the ascent of social networking, has organized more than 600 meet-ups all over the world to celebrate (not to mention provide opportunities for an extra Foursquare or Gowalla check-in).

Twitter users are using the #smday hashtag to discuss the day's events, and organizations from media to retail outlets are hoping to piggy-back, showing off their online credentials at the same time.

Even Major League Baseball is getting in on the act.

The league is giving everyone who has "liked" their favorite team on Facebook a chance to win tickets to the July 12 All-Star Game. Fans attending Thursday's nine MLB games who check in using the league's mobile app can get a free T-shirt if they're among the first 100 to do so.

At CNN, our iReport crew teamed up with Mashable to ask folks how social media has changed their lives.

Self-described "old guy" James Amerson sent in a photo gallery and told us about how social media helped him become part of local and global arts communities that he may have never known about otherwise.

"I would never in a million years thought an old guy like me would benefit from social media, but as luck would have it, I found myself right where I've been longing to be, in the company of open minded, creative and hard working people who are willing to think outside the box," he wrote.

Amerson, of Pensacola, Florida, discovered the global "Inside Out" art project through a friend on Facebook and plans to do more like it with the people he met.

Other respondents told us about how they:

* Used social media to help during the Vancouver riots

* Became a social media consultant for wildlife causes

* Become a Republican Party official at age 22

* Won a grant to travel the world helping families.


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