Syracuse loves social media, maybe it needs a trophy.

Science & Nature Post
Written by Nathan Mattise

To all the local naysayers of blogging, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Tumblr and the vast and various other forms of social mediayou know you’re in absolutely the wrong place, right?

Today’s news about Syracuse University being one of the best (most influential) collegiate Twitter accounts is no surprise. Syracuse, N.Y. in general embraces social medias like very few other areas. We have massive Foursquare initiatives (not to mention the founder is an alum). Tweet-ups in the area seem to have as much success as SU Football watch parties (and they had more pre-2010 season). We even have social media professors who create Tumblrs to discuss ‘net known case studies involving local businesses‘ use of social media. Wrap your mind around that.

All the love surrounding social media in the area makes me wonder one thing – why not set up some formal means of celebrating it?

I recently read about the first annual Austin Blogger Awards and thought to myself, “Syracuse doesn’t have this yet?!?”  It was initiative set up by a local blog/’zine to create a reader-vote supported Best-Of style contest focused on local social media (think the annual New Times polls).  Nominees were accepted through an e-mail submission process, judged by a set of criteria determined by the host publication and then five finalists in each category were left to duke it out by online voting.  It all wrapped up with a related event, they called it a “bleet-up,” where the winners were announced and more in-person networking could happen within the city’s larger social network.

Their list of categories was extensive (and expanded past just blogging to include things like Best Tumblr, Best Company and Best Twitter) but even if you couldn’t specialize the Syracuse scene to that extent, there are certainly plenty of quality local blogs covering broad topics like food, music, news and (especially) media. If you added specialized categories for the other social medias in town, you could easily fill ten slots or more.

Social media is successful based on the ideas of interaction and expanding your own network to become exposed to new ideas and perspectives (and for the pessimist, it’s based on narcissim and self-promotion… also easily adaptable to a social awards ceremony). An event like this could be a way for those engaging in local social media to ensure they aren’t missing great resources in their own neighborhood. At the very least, certainly seems like an opportunity for a local media outlet to hang their hat on a signature event (here’s looking at you New Times, NewsHouse and/or


(Links today from Klout, Newhouse School, and many of the blogs/Twitter accounts and Tumblrs mentioned directly above)

Have some thoughts on the matter? Comment below or you can e-mail it too.


Filed under Columns, Science & Nature

3 responses to “Syracuse loves social media, maybe it needs a trophy.

  1. I’d love the idea of local awards and such, and they definitely need categories. Whereas I like Matt Mulcahy and his blog, I’m thinking there are plenty of other local blogs (I’ll pitch myself here) that put out a great load of content and a lot of it is good as well. Of course, it needs readers to help point them out as well.

    Nice post; yes, we do need a trophy. 😉

  2. Hi Nathan:

    Thanks for mentioning the Austin Blogger Awards!

    Like you, I was shocked that there wasn’t a venue to celebrate the diversity and breadth of the new media scene here in Austin. By organizing the event, I learned about several blogs I’d never heard of–and hope others made some new discoveries, too!

    You guys should do it. It was great to meet a lot of these folks in person!

    Good luck!

    Editor, Republic of Austin

  3. Hey Mitch,

    I’m with you – I definitely think despite how social media savvy we seem to be in ‘Cuse that we’re likely missing out on/overlooking a very deep pool of bloggers putting out great content in the area. I think we need a few media entity-tied blogs to gain steam/host the event, but ideally it would be a venue to shine light on the gems that folks outside of the specific niche are missing out on.

    And Chris – congrats on a successful event and idea! I think it’s really inspired to gather the community for a night like that and I hope we can find a way to recreate it to a degree in ‘Cuse sometime. I think you’re definitely on to something out there in Austin.


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