Why Local Matters
Over the past few months I have been working on a project that is very near to my heart, and while this is still not ready for release I wanted to share my motivation behind what drove me to start this.
London Ontario is a strange town, but is very blessed because of these oddities. While we are a smaller city in the grand scheme of things, the amount of talent and creativity we have in this city is incredible on any scale. Unfortunately, London really fails letting people know how great it is.
It wasn’t until this past year that I realized that there was so much to offer within our city. I, like many others I know, perceived that London was simply a boring city without much going on. I simply felt that anything exciting, specifically in the social web sector must be happening somewhere else like Toronto or San Francisco.
This all changed with a single tweet. I had written a post on my personal blog stating that it seemed that no one uses Social media in London. This was quickly corrected by someone who I had recently started following on Twitter, Shawn Adamson.
Shawn proceeded to show me that there were in fact a great deal of people with similar interests and that many even got together on a regular basis to simply hang out and chat.
I think that this is the biggest strength of social media, the ability to bring together a community that may not have had the opportunity to meet in the past. The problem I have found is that for those who aren’t already connected, it can be difficult to find any information about what’s going on in your community.
I can easily find out about national or international news by simply looking at twitter, or the big name blogs, but to find out what’s going on in your community is quite a bit harder.
If you Google London Ontario, there isn’t that much useful information due to the vast amount of information that is indexed. You need to know where to look, like LondonFTW, which is a great resource, but very few people hear about it. Traditional local media is still quite a bit behind when it comes to social media and even promoting great things about the city.
If we continue to always look to connecting with those far away, it is really easy to lose sight of what is already here and within our reach. Social media is a great tool and we shouldn’t overlook the impact that it makes on our lives within the 100 km of your own home.
We are at a crossroads now in London specifically. There is a lot of potential here but I still often here people referring to it as a boring or uncreative city. We need to find ways to better communicate with those who aren’t already in the know. I was lucky and found out about all the great things in London, but I fear that if we don’t reach more people, London will be stuck with it’s boring reputation.
What other ways do you think we can connect to people to let them know how great this city actually is? I’ve got a couple ideas which you should all be seeing soon!