Josh Hallett points to a post by The Diva who wonders if Atlanta is becoming the “social media” mecca of the South. Josh is right. I’ll provide some push-back on that notion. Heck, everyone knows that Mothership BBQ is the social media mecca of the south. In Nashville, we don’t need no stinkin’ conferences on social media. Just have BusyMom post the word there’s going to be a “meat-up” at Mothership and at least 30-40 bloggers, podcasters, video-bloggers will show up.
Nashville does have one thing going for it. When the first major media company in Nashville decided to experiment with social media, they decided to reach out to bloggers rather than compete with them. That, and they hired a secret weapon: Brittney.
Seriously, however, I think one would be hard-pressed to declare that a “center” of social media exists anywhere — I think part of the appeal is that it is “from the edge.” Sure, the Silicon Valley is the center of all things Web 2.0ish. But Facebook was created in Cambridge, Mass., and Wikipedia was created in Tampa, Fla., and Flickr was created in Vancouver, but who cares? [Do I need to continue: MyBlogLog in Orlando, Basecamp in Chicago, FeedDemon in Nashville (no kidding — ask Nick.)] These “social media” could have been created anywhere. Their success came because they attracted loyal users from everywhere — the users made them what they are.
Final observation: As for the true mecca of social media in the South. I think that’s anywhere Ed Cone is.