In Hoboken, local doesn’t scale
The power of the unique, individual, true local community voice
Last month, Hoboken411 became a member of the Authentically Local group of websites – a collection of established, respected and genuine online voices of their individual communities. Our goal is to wake people up, and remind everyone the difference between the priceless value of what authentically local means – and the homogenization of chain stores, restaurants and big business (both online and off).
The same way we get upset when local stores vanish from Washington Street (like the pharmacy that was recently gobbled up by Walgreens) should also apply to the online world.
Remember when all you had was “You’ve got mail” from America Online? Then as the internet spread out like the wild west – you had diversity, choice, and individuality. However, AOL still kept everyone penned into their online coup – and that eventually put a hurting on them. Now, while Facebook is insanely popular and has some benefits – they’re trying to do the same thing – keep you in that place for everything! (mail, games, photos, videos and more!)
Heck, even AOL seems to be going down in flames once again with their moronic partnership with HuffPo that will not end well for anyone.
The true local sites of the world aren’t “business models,” but rather sincere endeavors by those who live, sleep, eat, shop and drink in the town in which they report from. They don’t have a corporate infrastructure, political goals, legal staff, marketing departments or editors. Word spreads because of the sincerity that emanates between the lines. Not forced, disingenuous or a by-product of a focus group.
Authentically Local founder Debra Galant from Baristanet.com in Montclair, NJ summed it up perfectly:
“The difference is this: Local doesn’t scale. Local isn’t McDonald’s, even if the McDonald’s is right down the street. Local doesn’t send profits back to a home office somewhere else. Local is something that’s part of what makes where you are unique. As unique and flawed and lovable as your own kids. Something is authentically local if it’s the first thing you’d want an old friend, visiting from the other side of the world, to see. It’s authentically local if its disappearance could potentially break your heart.
Local is suddenly the newest, hippest, most lucrative frontier. The local advertising market alone is estimated to be $100 billion a year. Companies like AOL, Google, and Apple all want a piece of the action. Some of the devices they sell you are even collecting data about everywhere you go – all to help their local campaigns.
Certainly big corporations add a lot of convenience and consistency to our world. They also threaten to homogenize it. If you want home to feel different from everywhere else in the world – or if you want a world that’s interesting to explore, support what’s authentically local. Know the difference, and vive la difference!“
Hoboken411 is proud to be Authentically Local!