Cutting Through the Hype of Hyper-Local

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Kate Canterbury

Cutting through the hype surrounding the hper-local movement, we would like to speak on bringing your online community offline, using social media to advocate in your community, and the oppoutunites to build a career in locally focused social media. All four of us have been bitten by the local bug and have used our social media knowledge to build communities and careers offline. We will give you real tools and advice on how to use the skills you have developed online to enrich your offline life. 

Laura Weisskopf Bleill was frustrated that there was no central place to find out what was going on in her community for her two little girls. In 2009 she and a friend, writer Amy Hatch, founded Chambanamoms.com. Within a span of a year the site has grown to be the premier online resource for moms and families in Champaign-Urbana. Bleill and Hatch are regulars on local TV and radio and chambanamoms.com has become a local institution. A graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Bleill is a former sportswriter who has written for major newspapers across the country and now works as a digital branding and communications consultant. She was a featured panelist at the hyperlocal session at Blissdom in January.


Elizabeth Norton
was raised, and is raising in Cape May County. She is a Mom of two, wife of one, and firm believer in Word of Mouth PR. Former party planner, dance teacher, customer service representative, bank teller, and beyond she has now found her place promoting the area she loves. She founded Cape May Moms to connect the moms around her and create a better cultured environment for all that live there. She works as a consultant for local businesses and at 140conf spoke on how she helps local businesses understand social media, getting their heads out of the sand and online. Her book "The Lies of Social Media" will be out in May.

Natasha Ball is the blogger behind Tasha Does Tulsa, a hub for Tulsans who turn to the Internet to plan their nights and weekends and to learn about the city they love. She brings T-Towners the rundown of the most exciting weekend events every Friday morning on the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley and Fox 23 Daybreak, and Tasha can be seen writing about food and other exciting Tulsa stuff in Oklahoma Magazine, Tulsa Kids Magazine and Tulsa Business Journal, too. In 2010 she founded the Tulsa Blogger Meetup, and she also talks to groups and teaches classes about the power of blogging and social media.

Kate Canterbury decided to dip her toes into niche blogging after moving to the small Midwest city of Columbia, MO. Her local blog Capturing Como focuses on what life is like in a college town when you have no affiliation with the university. Through Twitter and Facebook she built a large local online community which inspired her to start a chapter of Social Media Club to connect that community offline as well as create a trusted resource for local companies wanting to engage in social media. She writes for the local paper, puts together local social media events, and is currently launching a collaborative local blogging project. She spoke at 140conf Small Town on building micro-communities through social media platforms and is slated to speak at License To Steal, the national wine marketing conference, on engaging customers through social media.