I am from a relatively small city in Ohio. Toledo, to be exact. As many non-Ohioans are not too up-to-date on their Ohio geography, here’s a map for your reference.
Most of us native Toledoans consider Toledo to be the center of the universe. After all we brought you Katie Holmes, Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H… anyone?) and heavy metal band Lollipop Lust Kill. That’s not to mention Tony Packo’s, the Toledo Mud Hens and largest continuous sheet of tempered glass on record. But I digress…
The point here is that while we small city folks may have oodles of hometown pride, most of us can own the fact that we are often a little behind on the times. Fashions, trends and new ideas take longer to grab on around town. Social media is not exempt from this rule. The originals like Facebook and MySpace took a minute to become the hip thing. I remember my younger cousins in suburban Chicago were on them long before I was. YouTube caught on fairly quickly, but I of course heard about if from my Chicago cousins first.
Nowadays most Toledoans know of the pleases and sorrows of both Facebook, YouTube and blogging, but some of the other networks that are huge in Chicago still have not caught on in my hometown. I don’t know anyone in Toledo who tweets and I would be hard pressed to find any Toledo business contacts on LinkedIn. I would be willing to wager that most Toledoans don’t know what Flickr or Delicious are.
Keeping in mind that Toledo is fairly representative of a lot of midwestern cities and towns, I would be interested in finding out if there is any research on integrating social media in small towns and cities. I did a quick Google search but did not find much. Any one have any ideas?