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Blogging, Multi Media And Bunnies


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Presentation at the 2009 National Main Street Conference in Chicago - March 2, 2009

Published in: Technology
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Blogging, Multi Media And Bunnies

  1. 1. Living…for the City Blogging, Multi-media & Bunnies: Three Things You Need Not Fear
  2. 2. Living…for the City <ul><li>Who cares if I have a blog? </li></ul><ul><li>How can blogs help downtown/Main Street districts revitalize their communities? </li></ul><ul><li>What factors make blogs effective means for communication? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Living…for the City <ul><li>Tacoma, Washington </li></ul><ul><li>Second largest city in the Puget Sound region </li></ul><ul><li>2008 population – 200,000 (with a bullet) </li></ul><ul><li>Transformed over the past decade from a “gritty mill town” into “America’s #1 Wired City” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Living…for the City <ul><li>Downtown Tacoma </li></ul><ul><li>Business Improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Area (District) </li></ul><ul><li>84-block assessment district </li></ul><ul><li>Services: Security, maintenance, and marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Budget: > $750K annually </li></ul>
  5. 5. Living…for the City <ul><li>Why Blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic Bulletin Board - fast way to connect with our diverse publics </li></ul><ul><li>No Spin Zone - ability to shape message and deliver it accurately </li></ul><ul><li>Street Cred – more effectively market our value to constituents, city leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Coolness – being hip to what our target groups want and to be where they hang out </li></ul>
  6. 6. Living…for the City <ul><li>Venues </li></ul><ul><li>BIA Blog ( http:// / ) </li></ul><ul><li>On RAMP ( http://on- / ) </li></ul><ul><li>Tacoma Tech Connect ( http:// / ) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Living…for the City <ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Successfully renewed assessment district despite organized effort to end it </li></ul><ul><li>Visibility and clout of our organization increased dramatically </li></ul><ul><li>Gained access to young urban professionals, our target group for housing and tech start-ups </li></ul>
  8. 8. Living…for the City <ul><li>Elements of a Successful Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Relevancy </li></ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul><ul><li>Novelty </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Regularity </li></ul>
  9. 9. Living…for the City <ul><li>Columbia, Illinois </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller suburb in the St. Louis metropolitan region </li></ul><ul><li>2008 population – 9,818 (also with a bullet) </li></ul><ul><li>Transforming from an agricultural center to a high-income bedroom community to…? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Living…for the City <ul><li>Civic Progress </li></ul><ul><li>Committee </li></ul><ul><li>11-block Introductory Main St. Community </li></ul><ul><li>Initiating work on all four points </li></ul><ul><li>Façade program well underway and streetscape project about to launch </li></ul>
  11. 11. Living…for the City <ul><li>Why Blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic Bulletin Board - fast way to connect with our diverse publics </li></ul><ul><li>Broad Cast – getting the word out to potential customers, developers, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Run Deep – they don’t know what we think they know (they don’t know what they think they know) </li></ul><ul><li>Coolness – building bridges to our target groups </li></ul>
  12. 12. Living…for the City <ul><li>Venues </li></ul><ul><li>Topix (Bloggers Beware!) </li></ul><ul><li>Columbia Connections ( http:// / ) </li></ul><ul><li>Find It! in Monroe County ( http:// / ) </li></ul><ul><li>Columbia Crossings ( http:// ) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Living for the City
  14. 14. Living…for the City <ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Building an audience for our programs and initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning to build a brand for local shopping </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging young professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Broadening our reach to external audiences (retailers, developers, etc.) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Living…for the City <ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><li>Deploy blogs as one venue—have an overall strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Know why you blog—then fill that niche </li></ul><ul><li>Budget for blogging—time, talent, technology </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate comments—and monitor them </li></ul>
  16. 16. Living…for the City <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>Paul A. Ellis </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Community & Economic Development </li></ul><ul><li>City of Columbia </li></ul><ul><li>208 S. Rapp </li></ul><ul><li>Columbia, IL 62236 </li></ul><ul><li>(618) 281-7144 x.118 </li></ul><ul><li>(618) 281-5477 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>