Friday, April 21, 2006

When the Nearest City is Springfield, How Am I Supposed to Tag It?

As I was looking for some information on the L.A.Times story, I got to poking around the tags for various cities in Massachusetts. . .and found something very curious about the ubiquitious city name of Springfield, which, geographically, is the closest city near where I live in Chicopee...

I found that there is indeed a tag for Springfield. Illinois. Or at least that's the Springfield where people blog and use the tag. No one really blogs about Springfield Massachusetts. We have bloggers, and a couple of them blog about Springfield. But nobody tags their blogs "Springfield"--and if any of us did, they'd probably get us confused with Springfield, Illinois, or one of the plethora of Springfields across the country.

Then there's our local paper. Some cities have tags for their local papers. We have one paper(kind of like the Chicopee mayoral election and it's one candidate). It's called The Republican. If I type in "Republican," I get everything about the republican party and republicans in general. Nothing about The Republican newspaper.

I look up a tag for Northampton--a trendy little town with bloated real-estate prices just up the road aways from where I'm at. There's a few posts--rather old--and one has to be careful not to confuse Northampton,Massachusetts with Northampton of the Old Country...the place where soccer is called football.

Noho, a common term for Northampton (although those born here remember it as 'Hamp and think Noho's the indication of a transplant), is another tag. But that one's apparently reserved for a Japanese blogger who's on MSN Space--and for an area in Manhattan...

There's a tag for Amherst--a notable town, mostly since the University of Massachusetts is located there, as well as Emily Dickinson's familial estate. But there's not much tagged. It's pretty much a dead tag.

Then, there's a "Boston" tag. Better yet, there's a "Boston Globe" tag. So I can not only find stories tagged "Boston" but also those tagged "Boston Globe" in case I'm looking for blog stuff on the Boston Globe. The Boston and Boston Globe tags are pretty current and kind of interesting.

As far as the tag of Massachusetts is concerned, there's nothing going on in the state west of Boston...

Through all my digging, I'm brought back to the notion that there's not much going on in this part of the world, and as far as the blogosphere's concerned, it's pretty much virgin territory. I think, too, that if I wanted to tag it, would I have to tag everything with the general Springfield tag, and would people know to check that tag out? Would they be peeved by the notion that lots of other Springfields might be using the same tag?

Then I wonder about all the stuff I read daily about how the blogosphere is taking over and how interactivity is ubiquitous like the town name of Springfield. I read how the journalism and "dead tree" newspapers are toast, all to be replaced by blogging and media websites and I get to thinking that the Media Revolution that so many pundits living in the vast metropolii of this fair nation keep blathering on about is probably going to pass right along this bucolic countryside. . .perhaps not changing it much...because our one paper, the Republican, has its blogs segregated and commnent-free, and the other paper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, locks its articles behind a subscription fee (but I'll have more on this...I'm finding something very strange going on over there...)

So, perhaps the blogosphere as I *think* I know it, isn't quite the blogosphere that exists in this part of the world...or, at least it doesn't in Techorati Tagville, that's for sure.

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Anonymous said...

give tagging tech a few years to catch up with the masses. not only is the new media revolution happening out here in the countryside (the midwest anyway) it's perhaps a more important battle to win out here. ;)


Tish Grier said...


you're very right about the importance of the media revolution outside of big cities! I know out here there's so much unemployment, no new industries coming in, and a general powerless feeling that, eventually, people are going to have to use the new medium to both vent frustration and get the govt. to do something about the situation.

tagging, though....well, it's going to be interesting to see what happens...