In the United States, there are 10,466 streets that go by the name of Main, and no doubt, each has a story to tell. To capture them, a new social media project, Mapping Main Street, is putting to work the internet’s capacity for sharing video, photos, and words.
There’s a small team traveling the roads to document Main Street U.S.A., including some video producers and National Public Radio (NPR)-style documentarians. In fact, NPR is a sponsor, and the radio network has already begun sharing the stories (In Chatanooga, Main Street is a prostitution strip (Weekend Edition; Aug 22, 2009). (See, things along your Main Street don’t seem too bad now, do they?)
Already in Virginia, content has been posted on Middletown, Lexington, Harrisonburg, Chilhowie, Buchanan, Winchester, Warrenton, and Waterford. In Chilhowie, they worked the project for a free meal at the Town House restaurant.
But Main’s only a name, and if you don’t have a street that goes by it, there are still lots of ways to tell your story with video, audio, and the written word. With today’s easy access to inexpensive technology, there’s a great opportunity for Virginia’s traditional downtowns to share their communities with others and to even share information with those who live there.
For those interested in exploring the idea further, check out this blog dedicated to “placecasting.” And send us links to your productions so that we can blog about them here.