01/07/11 After a successful launch last year, in 2011 iHEART Green Media will continue to foster economic development by promoting small businesses, providing them with online resources as well as complimentary coaching and social media management services. In response to the public’s growing use of online tools and concern for the environment, iHEART Green Media uses an innovative approach by providing ink-free, paperless resources and technologies that are powered by 100% wind energy. Its products include locally-sponsored online communities that make use of social media and that are designed especially for smaller towns and cities.
Both Plymouth and Culver, Indiana now boast their own thriving online communities: iHEARTplymouth (www.iheartplymouth.com) and iHEARTculver (www.iheartculver.com). Similar to social media Web sites such as Facebook, they are virtual “street corners” for the local population, who contribute information about any community activity for no cost. Readers can easily access the community calendar as well as enjoy the Buzz Patrol blogs, written by local people who want to share their passions, ideas, and opinions with the public. “Some of the Buzz Patrol bloggers are passionate about helping promote small businesses, like local restaurant reviews or sharing photos about well designed window store fronts or showrooms. Other Buzz Patrol members write to inform the public about a specific topic of interest, like fashion or mental health” says Andrea Cook, owner of The Midas Center and creator of the iHEART concept. “Buzz blogs provide interesting topics that are true to the local flavor of its community, with all the content of the entire site written by the people, for the people.”
The number of engaged readers and contributors continue to grow. Combined, the sites have 339 members, a 518 “fan” following on Facebook, 184 people who follow these communities on the social media site Twitter, and they have received over 70,000 page views since their launch in the summer of 2010.
Sponsors of iHEART communities receive discounted advertising, a free Web page, customized social media coaching and half off the cost of the business development workshops offered by The Midas Center LLC. iHEART Green Media is funded by advertisers and sponsors including Yoder’s Sports Center, Mancino’s Grinders & Pizza, The Bridal Shoppe at Treat’s, Lifeplex/Fitness Forum, Fernbaugh’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, Marshall County Neighborhood Center, The Recycle Depot, Overmyer Water, Encore Performing Arts, Vermillion Systems, Inc., IT Service Corp, King’s Jewelry, Oliver Ford Lincoln-Mercury, Banfich Interiors, The Midas Center, Granny’s Restaurant, and DIVA in Culver.
Plans for similar online enterprises are in the works. Future community resources include more iHEART communities, as well as an online bridal resource to launch later in January 2011. Keep your eye out for www.TreatsBridalSuite.com coming to a laptop near you. Visit www.iheartgreenmedia.com for more information on business solutions and online communities.
Photo caption: Members of Plymouth’s iHEARTplymouth community submit photos of family, friends, and local landmarks for others to enjoy. Joe Harner submitted this picture of sunrise over Lake Maxinkuckee on January 5, 2011.