Local Trending Topics & How We Should Use Them

So Twitter just launched local trending topics this week. This seems like a natural thing to do since trending topics from certain areas make the main list all of the time; for example, snow in Texas.

Of course Twitter only offers select cities as of now, but once this feature does roll out globally, what will that mean for ol’ #hrva? Actually, it won’t mean much unless we do something about it.

From what I can tell, once you click on a local trending topic, say D.C’s current trending term “Salinger died,” (by the way, may the author rest in peace) the results actually aren’t very local at all. The first tweet I clicked on was from Indiana, so it seems that while #Salinger died is trending right now specifically in Washington D.C, the tweets that appear are still global. So we know that everyone in D.C has something to say about a particular topic, but we don’t know exactly what it is that they’re saying. Bummer. Because local trends could be a really powerful tool.

Just think, if local trends were already available for Hampton Roads today, getting the word out about the public hearing on the possibility of a high speed rail in Richmond/Hampton Roads tonight at the Halfe Moon Cruise & Celebration Center in Norfolk from 5:30-8:00PM would be a lot easier. Local businesses could get the word out to their immediate audience without having to fight through Twitter’s inevitable noise, and you could even find out about local events on weekends. Sure, every now and then we hashtag #hrva, but do people know to search for it? Having national and international conversations through social media pathways like Twitter daily is fascinating and educational, but our physical, locational community is part of who we are.

If things continue as they are, we will only be able to sift through the “#imthetypeto”s and the “#omgthatssonottrue”s to get to the good stuff if we make an effort as a #hrva community to tweet about local issues and events that are important to us.

So why not make it a point, whether local trends come to Hampton Roads specifically or not, to tweet local every once in a while? Spread the word: hashtag #hrva and search #hrva to inform and be informed about local topics we all should really care about.

Feel free to leave some locals you suggest to follow in the comments!