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Evo operates in New Mexico, a state ranked at or near the bottom of the nation in too many business, economic development, public education, and social equity categories. I’m not saying anything that isn’t common knowledge in New Mexico, though many would prefer it not be known outside the state.

We have natural beauty (out the wazoo), a rich and varied cultural heritage, and loads of creative, passionate people. People live here because they want to live in a beautiful place that has soul, and New Mexico delivers big on that score. But business-wise: let’s just say that when a recession comes along, we don’t have as far to fall. Alongside all the passion and creativity, there is a stubborn resistance to things new and different (especially, perhaps, in Santa Fe, the "City Different").

Very few New Mexico businesses understand the opportunities offered by social media marketing (isn’t that something the kids do on, whadyacallit, face-space?), although many of them understand that their brochure website that hasn’t been updated in the last year or two isn’t doing a lot for them (and come to think of it, neither is their yellow pages ad). Even fewer understand social media marketing as a lower cost, more effective alternative than traditional marketing efforts. We look at this as an opportunity, but changing mindsets is an uphill battle with few allies available.

One group who is listening, however, is the City of Santa Fe’s Economic Development division. They know they have to be creative to provide meaningful support for economic development with their limited resources, and they’re struggling with how to best accomplish that. I appreciate their willingness to hear what I have to say about social media’s place in stimulating economic development, and I want to give them a shout out for considering something outside traditional approaches, outside the usual economic development box.

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