I’ve been feeling for awhile that there is a need to create a website that shows off Finland’s unique identity. A website that is high in search ratings and is dynamic and responsive. I have pondered this one for awhile. There is nothing like this in our area, certainly nothing Finland-specific, and what does exist falls short or misrepresents us.
I have had this idea in my head that a website for my town is tantamount to us selling ourselves, and I have always considered tourism to be exploitative, and thus I have been hesitant to go down this road, as have most other people in my area. But here’s why I changed my mind. Researching places to go for my recent trip to Missouri was very informative. If I couldn’t find contact info for a town, we didn’t go there. If we were driving by and couldn’t find info on the smartphone (places to stay or eat, etc.), we didn’t stop. At some point it occurred to me to google Finland, MN and what comes up is completely scattered and not mobile friendly.
So clearly we need a better web presence that is also mobile-friendly. But that conjures glitzy images that are too upscale for me – misrepresentative, and bringing in the wrong kind of people.
So I thought about how to get around that. How do you get the right kind of people? People who don’t want to stay at the Holiday Inn or a fancy lake resort, but who would rather stay in a campground or a mom-and-pop cabin place? People who like the woods and Finnish heritage stuff or who just want to say that they bought something in the 100-year-old Finland Co-op? If you’re honest about what you are selling, then you’re more likely to get honest buyers. If you build up an online identity that shows what fun freaks you really have in your small town, then you will attract similar fun freaks, and those folks will be more tolerable and tolerant. You’re going to get fewer tourists whining about how they want to stay somewhere with a pool, or wondering what time the moose cross the road, and more people who are happy to swim in a real lake, drive on dirt roads through the woods, and bait their own fish hooks.
Anyway, I could go on and on about this, but it all boils down to…get a website.