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One BIG small town

Recently, Liz Strauss asked bloggers to bring our best blog metaphors to the table as part of the The Blogging Project:  What is your Blogging Metaphor.

As I have recently joined the blogging community of runners, I have thought about the question - "what is blogging?" many times as I have tried to explain to my running friends why I do it and why they should too.   Like some of my friends, until I had a chance to get out in the blogoshere and see what was going on, I thought blogs were for teenagers and young adults or those looking for a dating connection.   What I found instead was one BIG small town.

I am a small town girl - population of 125 - it has a a post office, one church, one tavern, one bank, one small store, one gas station, an elevator/feed store and a tractor dealership.  Yes, a very small black dot on the map.  Some years it had a few more businesses and amenities than other years but all were owned by a member of the community that also supported the community.   

My family owned the "one small store" and by the time I was 10, I knew all the people in and around my town.   While we didn't have blog (or heck, the intranet), we certainly had a "blogosphere", here is how they are alike:

1)  They have a strong sense of community.   Small towns have members who support each other.  They listen to each other, they promote each others businesses, they give feedback, they provide advice.  Bloggers also have a strong sense of community - they thrive on building friends and communities and support each others goals.

2)  They reach out to people they trust when they need help. When you need to find someone to make a cake, alter a wedding dress, take care of your kids, renovate your living room, or a doctor for your back - in a small town - you asked a few of your friends or people at the bank, church or store for someone they knew.   In blogging, you reach out to friends in your communities (or find new communities) and find out who they trust and who they are talking about.

3)  It's not all about business.  In small towns, the local businesses kept the town growing, but the friendships and social networks brought it life.   You couldn't help but meet and enjoy old and new friends everytime you stopped to talk to someone in a small town.  In the blogosphere, online commerce is critical to keep the blog world growing, but it is the support of new friends that will keep it interesting and most rewarding.

4) They share and share and share.   Small town people share their time, their wisdom, their resources, and their information.   It's not optional to volunteer, donate and contribute. Small towns that thrive are formed with people who share without restriction - they are infinitely generous in mind and spirit.  Bloggers who build strong communities unabashedly share their lessons learned, their expertise and their time.   They are building a better blogosphere - they don't see contribution as optional.

5)  They funnel information.   Small towns have a couple formal channels of information - the post office (for the early morning news) , the grocery store (for the community headlines), the bank (for the financial news), the church (for the health of the community address), the tavern (for the news for the men in the community), the weekly paper (for the sports stats, the official gossip, and official births/deaths/weddings).   Bloggers also funnel information - lots of information.   There are many channels, like a small town's, but people quickly figure out which one works for them through their favorite RSS feeds.

My blog through Runners Lounge is my way of being a small part of the running community -and a small black dot in the blogging community.   It is so nice to be part of one BIG small town!

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Comments

Liz Strauss

Thank you for sharing your small town with us. I used to spend my summers in a town of that size. It was a glorious place for a kid to be. I felt we were inside a giant dollhouse town and we were really in charge of all of the people there. :)

Brett Farmiloe

There's also the aspect of relocating into the small town. You have to meet your neighbors, and earning a reputation within the community so that you can earn that trust.

Karin H.

Hi Amy

I love your metaphor, so very apt! Used to live in a big town in The Netherlands, now live since 7 years in a small village in the UK and it is exactly like you say: BIG small town, that's how this little village and blogging feels like to me too.
Thanks, I was looking for a another great metaphor to explain this great tool to someone I know will benefit so much from blogging I don't think I have to look further (but will of course track to all contributions of the group writing project).

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

Amy

Glad you enjoyed! Aren't small towns great!?! It's so nice to get the small town experience everyday by blogging.

Amy

Glad you enjoyed! Aren't small towns great!?! It's so nice to get the small town experience everyday by blogging.

Art Dinkin

Congrats on being named one of the top 10 metaphors! http://www.successful-blog.com/1/the-complete-metaphor-project-listing-and-winners/

Rush Nigut

Amy:

New to blogging and already a pro. Way to go!

Rush

Amy

Thanks for the great advice Rush many months ago to try out blogging!

Air Max

Such a good writing, or by I saw for the first time. I'm quite happy, you are a good writer

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Thanks for the great advice Rush many months ago to try out blogging!

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