How Do We Stay Connected With Our Community in the Face of Technological Change?
Sep 09, 2015 05:00AM
● By Kevin
People are struggling to stay connected with the trends, events, local news and causes they care about even though technology has made it easier for organizations to share that information. Instead, we find ourselves getting caught up in the latest national news story or gossip while falling out of touch with our own communities. There used to be a Main Street or a centralized area that locals could gather around to get the latest information about what’s going on in their towns, but as technology has evolved, communities have actually become less personal.
We all have a lot going on each and every day. We can stay laser focused on family and friends, our businesses, promoting the causes that are near and dear to our hearts or simply just staying afloat. However, we all must step back and appreciate what we can accomplish if we commit to helping each other. We all must share the responsibility of maintaining what makes our home unique. That is the power of “local.”
The Concept of a Community Hub
The community hub is not a new concept. In ancient Rome, the locals visited the forum daily. This marketplace for selling goods also served as a place for debates, social engagements, meetings and other activities. As the American Dream was being built, so was Main Street – the primary retail road of a town – housing local shops, restaurants and business districts.
The ease of access to information on the Internet should have made it easier to connect with your community, but up until now locals have been facing an uphill battle. The movers and shakers on a local level simply don’t have the tools or knowledge to reach everyone they want online. Locable is standing up to empower communities and connect us all – people, nonprofits, small businesses, local government, schools – with the world. That’s how Locable is re-imagining community online.
A community hub can be a place where people can not only read about what's going on - rely on a source that will give them what they need to hear - but also participate in the conversations that develop, inform fellow community members and meet their neighbors.
Main Street for the 21st Century
People care about their communities and want to know what’s going on. For businesses and local publishers, there’s an opportunity to serve that need.
“Community publishers are uniquely positioned to become the anchor tenant of their community,” says Brian Ostrovsky, founder and CEO of Locable, “to help businesses and readers to join the conversation online.”
Since 2009, Locable has partnered over 100 legacy print publications and lifestyle magazines across the U.S. to help them do just that by providing digitally optimized websites, training and sales solutions to help them build community. Through that endeavor, more than 250,000 businesses are being served daily. Now they are focused on next evolution of building Main Street for the 21st Century which is reimagining how local businesses can share their stories with their audiences.
It Takes a Village...
We all have an important role to play in reimagining the community hub online.
It’s well documented that the “strength of a community is directly tied to the strength of its local businesses.” So, businesses must start with an effective web presence, using modern tools for marketing and built-in distribution, to help share their story with their communities. These tools should be focused on what Ostrovsky calls a “collaborative economy, one where we're all interdependent not merely independent.”
When the entire community can easily work together to promote local businesses and local businesses can help promote each other, the local economy will thrive, which boosts overall morale.
Nonprofits and community groups play an integral role as well. People love to get behind causes and are eager to support the ones that matter. When more people understand the important work being done locally, everyone wins. Chambers, Main Street associations and local agencies are making a huge impact too, but a community is only as strong as its people. “Locals” are the ones that truly care about where they live and are committed to ensuring its ongoing success.
Locable’s innovative approach to building Main Street for the 21st Century will help everyone connect in meaningful ways at the local level and will empower each person to enrich their relationships and make each town a better place to live.
If you believe in what Ostrovsky is trying to accomplish, check out Locable’s Indiegogo campaign to support their mission. Will you join us in our shared vision?
In March, Locable announced the launch of a new service specifically tailored to local businesses called the IMPACT Marketing Suite. The service not only gives businesses a fully mobile and search-optimized website; it allows easy content creation, instantaneous syncing with social media accounts and top directory listings and built-in distribution to the Locable publisher network. Contact us to learn more!