It seems like a distant, different lifetime ago, when I did not know Medellin. But it was just a little over a year ago and I had never been to this city, never been to Colombia, in fact the closest I had been to South America was a trip through the Panama Canal on a submarine.
Medellin is the place I call home, now. I love this city more than anywhere.
I moved down here with some friends because we wanted to open ourselves up, try something different. When people started talking about it, I wasn’t the first onboard. But I did some research, and we decided on this city because of the weather, the reputation for innovation, and the emerging entrepreneurial community. Also, there were some great videos online that really put the city in a good light.
It was a shock. I ended up arriving alone, at first, and living in Belén. I spoke very little Spanish, and very few people in Belén speak English. So I was isolated and a bit worried. I slowly learned the basic transactions, ordering food, buying supplies, taking taxis. Everywhere I went people were very helpful, to the point of constant embarrassment.
Then, after other friends showed up, we moved to Poblado. Yes, that’s a stereotype, but it’s also a pretty nice place and I have a lot of Colombian friends who like Poblado as well.
The city started to change a lot as I acquired more friends from here. I met people all over, and some of them have become among my closest friends, people I could not imagine living my life without knowing. A city, when it comes right down to it, is people, and the people here are wonderful.
There is a lot to do here. I have gone paragliding, taken a tango lesson, visited coffee country, and climbed Piedra del Peñol. I am learning salsa, as well as Spanish. Pretty much every week I discover a new restaurant that surprises me in some way. My creative output has gone way up, probably as high as it’s ever been (outside the secluded workshop environment).
Of course I’m here to do business. Web content strategy is one of the most neglected parts of creating a website or social media campaign. It’s the kind of thing that people believe they are doing already, but usually it’s the lack of web content strategy that is holding them back from real success.
Colombia is a great place to start, especially Medellin, for several reasons. For instance:
- There is a dynamic emerging tech culture here full of people who want to make an impact. Many great technology people could use help creating and maintaining great web content.
- Many small businesses are starting to gather themselves together and begin moving to the next level. Restaurants are expanding their customer base, possibly becoming franchises, merchants are moving online, non-profits are taking their causes to a wider audience. It is at this point that we can provide the most help.
- The exporting of branded Colombian goods and services is just beginning. We’re not talking about the huge commodities, but the smaller companies that want to sell designer clothes or specialty products to a worldwide market.
I love the energy that comes from people taking risks and trying new things, and I love to be able to offer my services at the point at which they will do the most good. That is the business side of why I love Medellin.