Just a thing about small cities:
I really like Kamloops for all it has to offer, and we’ve enjoyed and hopefully contributed to its culture and identity. But as someone who is digitally inclined, I miss what it doesn’t have:
- the ability to order food online (easily) – OK, Domino’s offers the service but it’s not “special” or unique to our city, and I am unhappy to be receiving “LARGE PIZZA deal” in my inbox almost every day it seems since the one time I ordered online
- the lack of services and businesses available to be able to send customized notifications of events, places and deals in the areas in which I have indicated interest, happening around town (I got into Groupon and Living Social in December, and the closest to our city is Kelowna, which is still a good 2 1/2 hours away. Thankfully, I can get to Vancouver once in a while to enjoy deals there.) NOTE: I think it’s still an awesome way to purchase gifts for friends who live in the cities covered by such services.
- lack of cellular coverage from the smaller telecommunications companies (can we say Mobilicity) who ROCK and have much better and broader phone plans than the larger carriers (ahem, Telus)
- a thriving community of Foursquarers and Twitters who I may run into in PERSON as well as online – I try to check in at locations and businesses, and find I have to enter in all the information because no one has checked in before or because the business hasn’t registered online
- I don’t seem to run into many bloggers/vloggers in town, though in Vancouver, there were LOTS of folks I’d meet on any given weekend who were active online
- (enough) wireless hotspots around town – for example, at the 2nd largest convention space in the city, which has no wireless internet for guests
There are these and some other reasons why I intend to move to a larger city if I ever get to pursue a Master’s in Communication/New Media. In the meantime, we are enjoying our lives here and I still try and work out some way of engaging in digital community life in town, in addition to the real-time community we’ve developed since moving here.
One way I’ve been trying to meet and keep in touch with local peeps online is through Twitter. I’ve created a list of local businesses/tweeters and try to read what they share. Today, there was a gem of a post by @Jordan_Keats about a former “loopsian who moved to a big city but was back for a few days for work. He writes:
Having spent the last two weeks in Kamloops, working a desk job, and not updating this blog, here are the highlights of my trip:
1. Working in a kick-ass environment
There is nowhere as interesting as a counselling office. Amazing and lonely clients come in everyday and leave far better than they arrived. Your co-workers are people who dedicate their lives to helping others live theirs’. These guys are doing the right thing.
2. Experiencing winter
I never realized how much I missed the skin-crackingly dry cold of the Interior. When I arrived it was warm (3 degrees Celsius), with little snow and lots of muddy brown.
Three days later, it was minus thirty-five degrees celsius with wind chill. The lakes were frozen through and it hurt to breath because it was so cold. Hooray for Inside Culture!…….
Some say the best thing coming out of Kamloops is the highway, but my hometown is far better than when I left. They have all the same services as Victoria, but they are still barely in the Web 1.0 world. Forget ordering food from a smartphone, it’s a nightmare. You can’t find a menu for a business that has no website, but there’s lots of Yelp & Urbanspoon spam reviews to frustrate you while browsing.
I thought it was pretty on point and appreciated the “insider” view.