By Laura Braden
Sponsored by Public Innovation, Code for Sacramento, Social Media Club Sacramento and The Urban Hive, the SHP uses hyper-local hashtags – #midtownSac #OakPark #MansionFlats etc – to help small businesses, residents and visitors connect and discover more about Sacramento’s neighborhoods.
The concept was pitched at last year’s Sacramento TedX, and while rooftop projects ultimately won, Emma Fletcher (with Code for Sacramento) contacted them wanting to collaborate. The result is a sleek website (and corresponding social media profiles) that can help users discover a new coffee shop or help locate a lost dog … and everything in between.
As the editor of GOTG, part of my job is to scour social media for interesting local news and gossip. And I’ve found that using #Sacramento brings up way too much stuff no one cares about, and hashtags like #Midtown bring up other cities like Atlanta and NYC. So I love this project because it helps connects me to the neighborhoods I care most about. (Because seriously, we have a ton of them!) SHP also helps me find new voices and perspectives on Sacramento … which is never a bad thing.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with SHP creator MaryJayne Zemer, an all-around bad ass who I instantly fell in love with (#LadyCrush). When she’s not serving as Chief Ideas Officer for Black Dog Strategy, she’s coming up with progressive and innovative ways to better inform and connect people. She stressed that SHP truly belongs to the community, and this project only works if people use it. Here’s a full list of the neighborhood hashtags, but they’re always looking for more options, feedback and ideas.
If you believe in the project, donate to their Kickstarter campaign. They’re trying to raise a modest $2,500 to pay for the website and produce stickers of all the neighborhoods for residents/business owners to display on their bikes, cars, business windows, etc. (Deadline: January 24 at 6pmPST) Just $4 gets you the sticker of your choice.
I hope this social experiment spreads nationwide because it could literally be replicated everywhere. In fact, the website is in beta mode with open source code, which is free and available to any city/organization that sees a productive use for it.
I think even JT and Jimmy Fallon would support this project, don’t you?