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Concord man creates New Hampshire Facebook group that has grown to more than 10,000

Last modified: 7/11/2015 11:13:03 PM
For Concord resident James Geschwindner, the “Everything in NH” Facebook group isn’t a webpage, it’s a family.

“I call it a family,” Geschwindner said. “I don’t even call it a page, because that’s how much I care about this. It feels more like a family than a Facebook page.”

Geschwindner created the group in November as a way to pass time after a hospital stay that left him mostly confined to his home. He joked with his wife, Sarah, that the page might last a month, get a few hundred members and help him get through the first month of being at home.

Within a week, nearly 300 people joined, and after the first month, the group grew to more than 1,000 members. Today, the group has more than 11,400 members, a number that grows by the day.

“Every day (my wife and I) look to see what the count is, and we look at each other and kind of have that memory that this was only going to be a month’s thing and a couple of hundred people would join,” he said.

Geschwindner said he wants the page to be the go-to place for New Hampshire residents to find out about events, discuss the news and share the treasures of the Granite State.

“We try to make everyone feel special, and in the meantime try to cover all the events of New Hampshire,” he said. “We let people promote their own businesses and we don’t charge for anything like that. We’re not out to make money on this page. We just want to promote New Hampshire. We want to be the place in New Hampshire that everybody comes to if they want to know something that’s going on.”

Typical posts contain information on upcoming events, links to news stories, which often lead to discussions in the comments and various games, like posting a photo of a New Hampshire destination and letting commenters guess where the picture was taken. All of the page’s content, Geschwindner said, creates a social media community that can provide important information for New Hampshire residents in a way that more traditional media organizations cannot.

“We know that Channel 9 has 200,000 some odd people,” he said. “Obviously, are we ever going to get to 200,000 people? Probably not. But you can’t go on Channel 9 and talk about your yard sale. You can’t go on Channel 9 and talk about your GoFundMe Page. You can’t go on Channel 9 and talk about your kids’ lemonade stand. We allow everything,” Geschwindner said, adding that the page does prohibit vulgar language and other profane material as well as cyberbullying, selling guns or pets, or posting spam.

And members have responded positively to the interactive community.

“I like this page. I think it is very informative,” member Stephanie Chandler wrote in a comment on the page. “I love the little games and like how it keeps people interacting with one another. I think it is a great group. And a great way for new people that have moved into NH to find out more about our state. It is also great for those of us that are natives to help those newcomers feel comfortable.”

“I like the page, very informative and there are enough members so that not only are questions answered, they are answered quickly,” another member, Krista Cummings, added.

Geschwindner’s page is not the only way in which people have started to use social media to promote New Hampshire, and some in the tourism industry say sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are invaluable tools for showcasing the state.

“Social media allows for so much interaction, and that interaction is so much of what people are looking for these days,” Kate Luczko, the executive director of Stay, Work, Play New Hampshire, said. “Social media allows you to reach people you might not have otherwise. And I feel like it’s become such a big part of our lives that if you’re not participating, you might be missing out.”

And while the “Everything in NH” page may not be affiliated with established tourism and recreation organizations like Stay, Work, Play, the goal remains the same.

“The promotion of New Hampshire,” Geschwindner said of the page’s goal. “That’s what it’s all about.



(Jack Rooney can be reached at 369-3302 or jrooney@
cmonitor.com or on Twitter 
@RooneyReports.)


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