Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why didn't I think of this sooner? Going local.

The appeal of the Internet, for me, has always been that I had unrivaled access to people and information all over the world. Want to know what's going on halfway around the world? Go there - virtually. Want to send a quick note to your brother, cousin, uncle or childhood friend, but don't have any stamps? Want to take college classes, get a recipe, or find other writing mothers?

You get the idea. So in all of my 11 glorious years on the Internet, I never thought about meeting online the people I might bump into at the grocery store.

Until recently, when a local entertainment columnist wrote about Tweet-Ups. "Hey," I thought to myself. "I'm on Twitter. She's on Twitter... Who else might be on Twitter?"

And this matters because I've been thinking of focusing my writing efforts more locally. My local clients are GREAT to work with, so I reason that having more like them would be a good thing. But walking up to someone and introducing myself in real life is a bit more problematic than it is online. Meeting another local person on the World Wide Web is like meeting another American in a foreign country. Instant comaraderie.

And truth be told, I probably wouldn't meet these folks around town. We don't run in the same circles. (My circle is the one that goes from the living room to the dining room to the kitchen.) The vast majority of people I have found who share my city as well as the Internet are in either journalism or tech. They're also a mite younger, I suspect. Yesterday I read a Tweet from someone local that said "What do senior citizens have to do online? Geneology?"


I have yet to see whether friending local folks will yield any real results in terms of local business, but it has led me to discover some great local content, and make a few connections I wouldn't have otherwise made.

What about you? Do you frequent your local WWW sites? Have you made any new connections with people in your own city? Am I the only one who hasn't thought of this yet? :)

1 comment:

Serenity Now! said...

I think that it's a good idea to surf locally - you have a better chance of getting "noticed" because it is kind of surprise to "bump into" someone online that lives in the same city as you!

I've not done a lot locally other than organize writers ...