MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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If Social Media Were a Small Town That Nosey Old Lady Down the Street Would be Facebook

This week on Managing the Gray my eyes were shocked to behold a brand new podcast by our pal (you’ll be meeting him via Skype tomorrow) C.C. Chapman. As always, the podcast impressed. One topic that stood out the most for me was a presentation he did called Social Media is a Small Town.

Being from a small town in Newfoundland, I could totally relate to what he was getting at with this presentation. He says, there is often a small town mentality associated with social media. To me, that means it’s all about generating a conversation or dialogue with your publics. In a small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business. If you want to know what movie to rent you will ask your neighbour. Growing up in a small town can often be cumbersome especially if you are a private person; but, if you’re into social media you want people to know your business! (or at least want to know other people’s business)

Chapman says growing up in a small town has helped him excel in this world of blogging and podcasts and social marketing. I would have to agree with him there. Small towns teach how to spread information whether you want to share or not. I guess it all comes down to transparency. In a small town, the flow information is often inescapable. If you are to be successful in the social media world you need to realize that information must be truthful and passed along the right channels and to the right people.  In every small town there is the one nosey lady down the street who knows everything and shares it with everyone she speaks with. In our social media world she would Facebook or Twitter. Tell her a secret and within seconds all of your friends will know.

So, who agrees? Who in the class is from a small town and can see how this has helped them with social media? Or conversely has it hindered you? Let me know!


June 15, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , , ,


  1. Hey Tracey!

    Your Blog speaks loud and clear for me. I am from Truro and although this hub town is growing everyday, it still maintains its small town mentality.

    This certain “drive to know everyone’s business” has definitely helped to learn about the newest tool for communication gossip and know exactly who to go to in order to get your own message out.

    In small towns, understanding how to use networks and gossip to your advantage is pivotal to survive in this environment. This skill transfers easily to social media, as it is the same game just a different playing ground.

    Comment by jenniferspicer01 | June 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. How interesting! Like you, i am also from a small town (Antigonish), and i have to aggree with this analogy. No matter how much people like to deney it, we love to know the dirt about people. Particularly, in a small town where there isn’t much to do, we thrive on the stories (sometimes gossip) of others. On the other side of things, we put stuff on the internet because we want people to see it and want people to talk about it.

    Another way social is like a small town is the aspect of two-way communication. Small towns are more intimate, so when you pass someone on the street you usually have a conversation, where as in larger cities, its a sea of strangers. Conversations could be seen as wall posts back and forth between people, or commenting on photos/statuses.

    Very interesting post, it got me thinkng!

    Comment by sarahmacl | June 15, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hi Tracey,

    Just like the podcast opened your eyes, this post opened mine! The analogy by C.C Chapman is so smart and completely right.

    I’m from Fredericton, NB which is a small town filled with gossip from people of all ages. Having moved to Halifax for university, I can look back on Fredericton and really see how it truly reflects social media. But then again, I can also see how Halifax represents social media as well.

    So really, did I just move from a smaller forum to a larger one? Is it really only small towns that can represent social media? We can look at this on a larger scale and say that maybe Montreal or Toronto is the facebook of Canada. Fredericton is one of its friends- who has a page of its own, full of gossip and information.

    Is every Country its own Social Media netowork?

    So many analogies, so little time…

    Comment by Hilary | June 15, 2009 | Reply

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