A large part of getting connected to your German heritage is to experience it first hand as much as you can. While most of us cannot afford to fly to Germany whenever we feel like getting the German experience, we find ourselves looking to find cheaper and more local ways to do so. One of the most common problems though is that it can be difficult finding these opportunities close to home.
Due to the tight budgets of many German organizations, advertising in the mainstream media can be hard to pull off. So how can they get their event publicized without spending a lot of money? Social media has become a cheap and often free way to get some exposure. Of course there is still the problem of getting followers and having someone keep up with the various sites to make sure they are updated with the latest information. But this leaves open a great opportunity for people who have the time and interest in helping other locals find the many German experience opportunities close by.
There are a lot of websites cropping up about the German or German-American culture, German Pulse being one of them, but most have a more generalized focus instead of a local one. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t always help in finding something local. What I have not seen a lot of are websites or social networking pages focusing on a certain state or metropolitan area. This is a great market that has been largely left untouched. A great example of a site that is doing great is the German Wisconsin Facebook page. Anyone living in Wisconsin that wants to connect with their heritage should check this page out. Their page is kept up by a few individuals who make an effort to highlight everything German that is happening in the state of Wisconsin, whether it is an upcoming event or a local restaurant.
I have searched Facebook for similar pages, but my results often came back with nothing or a page that was created but never kept up. There also seems to be a struggle with keeping things local instead of branching out on a national level. For a while I was closely watching a Facebook page for the North & South Carolina area, but the owner of the page seems to be going through a transition of spreading out to encompass the entire US and Canada. He has now created a set of sites under the name of find·Germany which promise to “find a piece of Germany near you”. I’ll continue to follow his efforts with the hope that several people come forward to focus on a particular state, as it can be difficult to get a complete picture of the German culture in an area that you do not live in.
German Wisconsin and find·Germany are the two examples I was able to find on Facebook, but there are a few full websites devoted to the local German culture… Germany in NYC being one of them. Facebook and other social network sites are easy for beginners to get started and allows an easier way for the community to contribute. If you follow a site that focuses on the German American community on a local level, please share it with us. At German Pulse we will do our best to help individuals find the German experience close to home, but those who live in the area can do a lot more.