Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NW Indiana Online Vision


I was unabashed about writing Who's Who in Northwest Indiana Blogging last week, and was humbled to get a ton of commenting and input. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, added more blogs to the list, and offered ideas and arguments. Remember I love a good argument.

After reading Joe Porter's Annoying Blog Practices post this week though I realized that at a minimum I've got to put some photos into these long winded posts. (I selfishly linked it to my political site)

First a quick review of where we've been:
  • In 2007 there were very few bloggers in the region
  • When twitter arrived there were only a few users and many were hit or miss
  • Even facebook was pretty slow adoption here locally
  • Chris Hedges began the process of really reaching out and encouraging bloggers to work together on link strategies and carnivals
  • Golden Technologies hosted the first blogger meetup and has been a solid support for many start-ups
  • Kathy Sipple returned from Detroit excited about the possibility of social media as a tool for small business and announced the first official tweetup in early 2009.
  • The tweetup format has ebbed and flowed, sometimes fundraiser sometimes cocktail party. Thanks to Dave Woodson and Natfinn for building NWITweetup.com and those shockingly funny videos.
  • Later in 2009 the #nwindiana stream really took off, with days approaching 1,000 tweets and a ton of actual engagement not just broadcasting
Where do we go from here?

  • Would love to see a social media inbound marketing conference in the region
  • Are you going to Social Media Day today? Here's the announcement, all are welcome.
  • Would love to see tweetups diversify with more activity in LaPorte and Lake Counties, although Porter County is the center of activity currently
  • Would love to see a ton more blog content creation and engagement in comments and linking, we can all help each other herein
  • As small businesses start using these tools we will all have to shift our focus to reflect the successes and challenges in real business use
  • Would love to see regional awards, real ones not gamed by bots, for this area
  • So far none of the schools are teaching anything that I know of, and shouldn't some of you be those teachers and trainers?
  • My particular passion is politics, and local politicians are just starting to scratch the surface, I just wonder how much local government will change as it is opened to social media, video, and transparent search? Who will be the first to lead that charge?
What do you want to see in this area of innovation? What would actually create jobs and products and incubation? Could we be a place that others want to move to, so they can engage with us? Love to hear everyone's thoughts, and of course get told I missed people in my timeline.