Although the web provides us with global reach, I’ve noticed an interesting trend emerging. I’m referring to the swing back to local. People like familiarity and they like connecting and working with members of their community.
This trend is reflected in the abundance of local web based platforms emerging and thriving. Such examples are:
Alignable: Self-described as: ”A free social network where small business owners gather to connect, collaborate and succeed together.
(A local Linked In)
Nextdoor: Self-described as a “Private social network for your neighborhood”
(A local community bulletin board with everything from plumber recommendations to event announcements)
Patch: Community based news, events and classified
Meet Up: Self-described as the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. (Social and business groups for literally any interest or topic)
The Newton, Needham Chamber: Although not strictly an online platform, it is interesting to note that according to the Boston Business Journal, this chamber is the fastest growing chamber in the state. (2015)
From a business perspective, there are numerous benefits to working or partnering with local companies. Local companies are on the same page. They witness regional trends and they know their demographic up-close and personal. Working together provides them the opportunity to cross promote and provide their customers with more comprehensive services. And of course, there is a huge benefit to being able to meet face to face. It seems there is a level of trust one gets from local connections that is lost in the wild west of the web.
I’m not implying it is bad to work with companies from around the world. What I’m seeing is that people are looking to be connected on a more real and personal level both personally and professionally - and local offers just that.