Welcome to OnlyinPgh!
OnlyinPgh is a social enterprise that is building new ways for making it easier to connect to, participate in and interact with local communities online.
We currently have two things to accomplish this, one live and one in the works:
As we’ve been managing the various forms the OnlyinPgh website has taken since it started in early 2009, we started to notice something interesting — our content has been generating less and less web traffic, but our social media presence has been growing faster and faster.
What’s up with that?
We have a theory, and we’re going to spend the next few months putting it to the test. Our theory is this: social media is the future of local online content.
The reason is that when it comes down to it, social media is just a digital version of word-of-mouth, and word-of-mouth is what has been driving community since…ever. Taking word-of-mouth online makes it easier to spread to the word farther and wider, making it even more powerful and useful.
But one issue with word-of-mouth, even online versions of it, is that it’s very disorganized. Just because nearly everyone has an individual social media presence doesn’t mean that all of the people in one community or area are connected to each other. In fact, now it’s much easier to keep up with acquaintances we met briefly years ago in different cities than it is to keep up with people down the street from us.
That’s not really beneficial to building local community, which is really the goal of any locally focused website. So, we’re trying out some new features and we’ll see how they go:
- #OnlyinPgh Twitter Stream: On the left side of the front page is a stream and twitter chat of the #onlyinpgh hashtag (for more info on hashtags, head here). Use it to share your OnlyinPgh moments, events, news, articles…whatever it is that you think is “only in Pittsburgh.”
- Facebook Wall Feed: On the right side of the front page is a feed of the OnlyinPgh Facebook Page. Post your events, pictures, links on it to share with others in Pittsburgh.
- Pinterest Photo Page: We changed our photo page to run on Pinterest! The page contains a feed of our most recent pins for your enjoyment, or you can head directly to our Pinterest page to see all the goodies. Have a photo you’d like to share? If you’re on Pinterest, mention us (@onlyinpgh) and we’ll repin. If not, post it to our Facebook page and we’ll pin it for you!
That’s it! As always, feel free to use the Feedback tab to tell us what you think!
OnlyinPgh has partnered with the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) and Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development (PPND)to implement the new platform in Oakland. Launching this Spring, the Scenable web and mobile platform will make it dramatically easier for individuals to participate in things happening in Oakland as well as for businesses to improve their online presence.
Interested in learning more? Head over to http://onlyinpgh.com/scenable.
Why are we doing this?
The inspiration for OnlyinPgh comes from the strong neighborhood business districts in Pittsburgh and the belief that our local businesses are vitally important. For our economy, spending money locally is much more likely to be reinvested in the community than spending money in national chain stores. For our environment, buying locally can help reduce our overall carbon footprint. And for our community, small businesses are a large part of what defines a place. When people go to the bustling Strip District on a Saturday morning in December, they don’t go because it’s easy to park and they like standing in the cold—they go because there’s no other place like it.
As the National Trust for Historic Preservation says, “Main Street[s are] the economic engine, the big stage, the core of the community.” Our goal is to help improve the local economy by making it easy to enjoy everything our neighborhoods have to offer, thereby making a positive impact on the city as a while. For these reasons we consider OnlyinPgh to be a social enterprise.
OnlyinPgh began in 2009 as a photoblog. In 2010 the website expanded to include information on local businesses and events, and in 2011 OnlyinPgh began development of the Pittsburgh Happenings System, which is what you see today. Check out this video made in early 2011 with Brett Wiewiora, founder and CEO, describing the vision and direction OnlyinPgh would take as well as the motivation behind it.