Michael Slawin arrived at my lunch with Chris Miller and Matthew Homann to deliver me some gooey butter cake. This, it turns out, is a St. Louis treat. It’s what whoopie pies are to Maine. It’s what poutine is to Quebec and the eastern part of Canada. Essentially, besides probably being 12,500 calories, it is a regional delight that reminds people of being from somewhere. The gooey butter cake came from Park Avenue Coffee, by the way.
After lunch, en route to the airport, Matt Homann gave me a great tour of St. Louis. We went through various neighborhoods, and I learned a lot about the history of the area, a few really interesting spaces, and some of the interesting news about neighborhood redevelopment.
It got me thinking: why aren’t tourism agencies looking to build relationships with visiting bloggers?
One group that is trying this out is Visit Pittsburgh. My friend and PodCamp organizer, Justin Kownacki, connected me into a program with Visit Pittsburgh that ties to the upcoming PodCamp Pittsburgh, happening on October 18th-19th 2008. They have a tour set up for me, and are doing a lot to show me the better side of Pittsburgh, a place I’ve visited three or four times now and find exciting and dynamic and full of great rebirth stories.
I’m not sure how it works. Maybe you have some ideas. Would this be the kind of thing that would attach to conferences being held in the area? That’d be a great way to find out who was visiting that might represent the new media. Or is there some other simpler mechanism to put people together on these kinds of opportunities?
It’s on my mind.