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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Miller Facebook Page Shows Promise

Earlier this year a commenter went ape over the idea that an adult might be on Facebook. What on earth is a grown man doing on that website? the commenter asked.

Mike Knutson at Reimagine Rural shows us what a growing community might be doing on Facebook. He points us toward Miller, South Dakota, whose economic development people dig how Facebook can promote a small town. Less than a month after its creation, the page has 550 fans. Miller has just 1500-some residents. Compare that to the Madison Chamber Facebook page, which has 85 fans. The Miller page actually invites conversation and draws a fair number of comments. The page is less worried about branding the town; it's about creating a public space for building and sharing ideas among residents and even ex-pats. The Miller page is partnering with the local newspaper as well, creating a connection between the online and offline worlds.

Meanwhile, I read in the Madison Chamber newsletter that our chamber proudly notes that in response to the "thousands" of calls it receives each year inquiring about local businesses, the Chamber only refers callers to its members. Hmmm... the Chamber survives on a tax subsidy from the City of Madison... don't they have an obligation to serve every business in Madison?

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