Twitter Is My Downtown

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown, things'll be great when you're
Downtown – No finer place, for sure
Downtown – Everything's waiting for you

– "Downtown," lyrics by Tony Hatch, made immortal by Petula Clark

From Anne Clelland:

Post office in downtown Blacksburg, Virginia. Twitter is busier. Photo by Robert Giles In the Lynchburg, Virginia of my father's youth, his grandfather owned a barber shop in the center of downtown.  Within strides of each other were doctors, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, bankers, restaurant owners, and merchants – from dime store owners, to booksellers, to jewelers. 

They talked.  When groups formed, while some talked, others listened.  From each other, they learned the latest business news, some expert business practices, and some not-so expert.  They were part of, and created, a local economy.

While I appreciated the depth of expertise and relationships I gained from working at a single organization or business, I unconsciously developed a mono-view.  We talked, but we talked about the same industry with the same people over and over again.

To meet others in other industries, we had to attend meetings and conferences.  Our encounters were brief, usually superficial.

On Twitter, I follow CEOs, entrepreneurs, real estate agents, software developers, PR professionals, leaders of non-profits, a writer, a medical student, a localvore, and some quirky folks I’m not exactly sure what they do.

We talk.  We’re a group.  When others talk, I listen.  From them, I learn best business practices, and not-so best, in sustained conversations with industry sources to which I have never had access, and could not now have in my small town.  I am part of a global economy

Are the conversations as enlightening as in-person, long-term dialogue with co-workers?  No.  But the lights are a lot brighter than in mono-view.

I live rurally, but, on Twitter, I go downtown whenever I want.

Celebrating Your Ten-Year Anniversary
Spring in the New River Valley


  1. I truly relate to this since I live in a similar rural geography as you. Twitter is definitely useful for connecting with, or simply following, people you normally wouldn’t have access to. It instantly widens your business universe.

  2. And there’s nothing like a comment on a blog post to deepen connections, even relationships, even loyalty.

    How I felt when I read your comment? I’m not alone in my thinking! That’s very exciting.

    Thank you, Neil!

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