Putting Wilmington on the digital map

“The yellow pages is dead,” declares Brian Soward, social media enthusiast. That’s why a group of active social media types are gathering in Wilmington this weekend to help businesses take part in what is replacing the traditional yellow book.

Participants in “Be Here Wilmington” say if a business doesn’t have some type of online presence, they won’t be found by potential customers.  So this group of social media mavens, armed with smart phones, will be canvassing downtown Wilmington businesses on Saturday, trying to get them signed up with social media sites like Google Places or Foursquare.

“Many of these downtown businesses don’t understand how to get themselves out there on the internet,” says Sowards. After the weekend effort, volunteers hope to have many more businesses online. “So when you go online and search for a cleaner, or a place to eat, you’ll be able to find their address and see reviews on them, and stuff like that.”

The ultimate goal is to make Wilmington the first city in the nation to have 100% of downtown businesses “geo-indexed” into Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla, and Google Places.

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Following Saturday’s canvassing, there will be a meeting on Sunday that’s being described as a brainstorming session to “discuss the possibilities and activities we can now create with a ‘Smarter’ City.”

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