Some great Apps on my iPhone that help me find what i am looking for in terms of nearby businesses and a recent article in the paper about the breakdown of communities got my brain ticking over.
It seems that most people have in the past promoted the Internet as a way to open up the world as a marketplace, which resulted in the local shop asking “well what’s in it for me?” But now the tools of Social Media and the Moblie Net (used to be called a Mobile Phone) has given us a much more local focus.
On my iPhone I click the Google App and then say what I am looking for (eg Coffee Shop) and it will in seconds give me a list of the nearest coffee chops sorted in order of distance and include address, phone no, website link and in most cases a recent review. And then there is another App – AroundMe that helps me find the nearest Bank/ATM/Pub/Parking Station etc etc ..
I assume if your business Googles well these Apps will promote you but if you don’t you may well be invisible!!
The article I read talked about the breakdown of the neighbourly interaction that was a key part of society 10/15/20 years ago. It seems most people don’t know their neighbors, they don’t talk or socialise in any way.
And with all the stories about home invasions, domestic violence, drug labs etc in average suburbs, maybe we are a little scared of what we might find over the fence.
So is Social Media a way to rebuild the neighbourhood by letting people find our who lives nearby and what they are interested in, getting to know them and chat online before meeting.
It seems to work on dating sites, it certainly has worked for me on LinkedIn. I now have lots of face-to-face contact with people I met as a result of finding them or them finding me on LinkedIn.
We talk about building communities using Social Media – in terms of people who support a brand, a business, a celebrity etc. but maybe we need to re-established the old fashioned neighbourhood interaction by first getting it going online.
Rather than knocking on the front door or even saying hi over the back fence perhaps Social Media will let us peep behind the curtains and get to know who lives around us.
But who will set up this neighborhood infrastructure online … who has something to gain from it … perhaps the Local Council … but I suspect most of us won’t live long enough for them to get around to something so radical.
Well who else wants to be seen as Mayor of the Local Neighborhood … could it be the Local Real Estate agent … maybe … I think I feel another blog coming on!!!