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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogs Provide Authentic Content, Promote Rural Communities

Mike Knutson at Reimagine Rural shares this lesson from last week's Midwest Rural Assembly about how authentic local online content—like a humble blog—can bring improvements and residents to rural communities:

Second, social media can be an important marketing strategy for rural communities. I have to come clean in admitting that I entered the conference with strong convictions on the subject. But it was refreshing to hear from Kelly Fuller of Plains Justice who told a story of how she chose Vermillion, SD as the home for her non-profit work in part because she connected with people of similar interests and values in Vermillion who she found through a blog. Through these connections, she and other staff members felt they had received a more authentic view of the community than if they had relied solely on community-based websites for their decision making [Mike Knutson, "5 Things I Learned at the Midwest Rural Assembly," Reimagine Rural, 2009.08.17].

A blog. A real blog. Not the controlled, sanitized content of a Chamber of Commerce Facebook page or a cheesy marketing page. But real residents, telling real stories, and helping visitors get a feel for the real character of a community.

That's the Madville Times has been doing for Madison and South Dakota for four years now. Chamber of Commerce, LAIC, feel free to hit the tip jar (left sidebar!) or just send a check for all the good work the Madville Times does for you.


  1. Little things like this keep us scribblers scribbling, eh?

  2. Oops, that was the post I meant to comment on. Scrolled down too far!

  3. Kelly Fuller8/19/2009 6:16 AM

    I deliberately looked at blogs when deciding where to locate in South Dakota because it was my best chance to connect with real people and learn what the towns were really like.

    Cory, because of Madville Times and the City of Madison's official sailboat/lake imagery, we drove through Madison, but the geographic location just didn't work for us. In the case of Vermillion, there was a sustainable farm blog and two other groups with web pages about local food, and that convinced me that there would be like-minded people here. Otherwise, strip-mall filled Cherry Street probably would have defined Vermillion for us, and I would have argued hard to go elsewhere.

    As it turns out, we've gotten to know the people associated with the blog and web pages, and they are inded like minded. The internet provided us with a way to jump start those relationships.

  4. This story warms my Vermillion-loving heart.

    I definitely have warmer feelings about Madison because of you, Cory. I figure if a guy like you can love it so much, it must have something going for it ;)

  5. Kelsey... thank you.

    This story does my blog-loving heart lots of good. We really can do some good for South Dakota!


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