Social Media Club St. Louis held their first meeting. For me, it held some surprises. Two of them stick out for me. The main surprise was the attendance of several people working professionally with online media, including blogging. There were only a few of us in attendance that don’t make part of our living with our work online. One gentleman even works for our local paper’s online segment.
My expectation that it would have been others with just an interest in social media or those that spend that have a small revenue stream from online activities. It’s exciting to see though the involvement in St. Louis of so many companies with a strong interest in things like blogs, and other social media and networking tools, such as Twitter. Mentioned in my earlier post though, very few of those in attendance were familiar with more than a couple of social media outlets personally.
This leads me to the second big surprise for this St. Louis crowd, what they considered their big social media and networking site. It wasn’t Facebook or MySpace that came out in front. It wasn’t LinkedIn, though several people mentioned using it. StumbleUpon was the favorite online community. Knowing St. Louis folks though, it shouldn’t be a surprise.
StumbleUpon is at first glance all about nominating links or stumbling them. Essentially a StumbleUpon (SU) user can give a page a thumbs up that they like. More visitors to that site that use SU can also vote it up. This helps a page get noticed, because those that are added to the StumbleUpon database and get the most votes, will be ‘stumbled upon’ most often by StumbleUpon toolbar users.
So how does this factor in for St. Louis? St. Louis is all about neighborhoods and tight net groups. Behind SU’s toolbar and voting, it’s all about the small and interwoven community. People can build personal blogs there, and even a sense of brand. The pages they recommend are seen by others in the groups they belong to on SU. The social media types folks in St. Louis have really taken to that sense of close net community and sharing. SU really provides a great way to share and focus that sharing upon your favorite sites about a place as well. This helps create a whole group of users that really highlight blogs and websites of and about St. Louis. A large part of that is a focus on the St. Louis local music scene.
Wrapping up the thoughts here, I really shouldn’t have been surprised about what I found at the Social Media Club gathering. It’s given me insight into what directions I should be moving in online and what tools people are finding the most community driven.
What about social media gurus and neophytes in your neighborhood? Do you know what online communities your neighbors use? Does it matter? Should you care? Perhaps so if you really value your local area’s presence online.