In making a call out to the wider U.S. social media community for more examples of city social media scenes; Peter Jones of Catchfire Media, a social media and technology solutions provider of Des Moines, Iowa, was kind enough to give me a write up of the social media scene in Des Moines; here's the resulting post from Peter:
Peter: I thought I owed it to the city of Des Moines to comment after reading John Cass’s (@johncass) piece about his effort to list U.S. cities where social media is active and vibrant. I didn’t know that he would then turn the tables and ask me to write about our scene in Des Moines—luckily my efforts comes easy, given our already vibrant community.
Des Moines is home to the Social Media Club Des Moines, a member group nearing 500 people. The Social Media Club concept is not unique to Des Moines; rather, it started on the west coast but was eagerly adopted here due to a rising interest in social media. The Club is well known for networking and educational programming geared towards novice social media users and experienced professionals.
“The Des Moines chapter of Social Media Club seeks to bring together area technologists, business owners, educators, professionals, enthusiasts, and users of all vocations to provide a forum for education and collaboration on social media technology, platforms, and strategies.”
The Central Iowa Bloggers (#CIB) meet the first Friday of every month at a local coffee shop. The group started with just four people, but it has grown to nearly 60, meeting for networking purposes.. Conversations vary from professional needs to, well, just about anything and everything. The group will be in the Panera Bread newsletter and on numerous other local publications.
The #DMTweetup scene was actually one of the first social media related events in Des Moines, initiated back in 2008. The Tweetup’s initial efforts started in a circle of close contacts, but local businesses really took note when the numbers of people reached near 100 at their events. Soon after the word started spreading about the Tweetup’s, many businesses started to reach out to offer the group discounts to try to sway them to come to their establishment.
Silicon Prairie News was actually created by a few guys in Omaha, but there is a segment featuring Des Moines startup community and, as a subset, the social media community. Specifically, Silicon Prairie has featured local companies and blogs like Catchfire Media, Dwolla, Smartypig, Geosync Global, and even my blog DesMoinesisnotboring.com. Their Des Moines features have helped spur the start up community and solidify the social media community.
Technology Association of Iowa is the key cog in the development of the state’s technological sector. Their efforts have helped bring companies like Google, Microsoft, and IBM to the state. Plus, their efforts have helped locally with a reoccurring event called the TechBrew, where local entrepreneurs and social media aficionados meet to converse with the association.
The above are just a few of the examples of social media in Des Moines. There are so many others I could have touched on, but I would be writing for days, as there are so many fantastic examples.
Our friends the Admavericks, put this Post together featuring a great list of local area Bloggers. Others who have played a predominant role are @nathantwright, @mikesansone, @thebrandchef, and @bigwags, just to name a few.
The social media scene in Des Moines is very much alive and kicking, at one point there was even a campaign to get Des Moines anointed the Social Media Capital of the World, but we are a few votes shy of that nomenclature.
John: Thanks Peter for a great post!