Did you know there are still people moving to Atlanta for "the music industry"? Seriously. Like, "rappers," people who "can sing," and even folks who make "beats" and have "groups," "managers," and "labels." But truth be told, while entertainment still draws lots of career-seeking creatives to ATL (from music to the increasing frequency of major film productions like The Hunger Games, Anchorman 2 and Dumb and Dumber To) , and the local art scene is spitting that hot fiya (as my man Maurice Garland recently pointed out), the best evidence and biggest reason to get excited about Atlanta is the long-awaited discovery of the city by the tech startup scene. And that's where Choose ATL comes in.
There are four content categories meant to attract techie ATLiens. Live Here, Work Here, Startup Here, and Why We Love It.
Live Here gives four great reasons, including ATL's 36% coverage of trees, which if you're from the south and have ever visited other metropolitan cities you immediately recognize is a huge bonus. Until the pollen comes back every spring. Still, trees are good. :)
There's also the food scene (you already know), a shout-out to the famous diversity of Atlanta, and the coolness of Atlanta's rediscovered neighborhood hipness.
One of the smartest things they did was connect the site to online job-hunting resource Indeed, with filters that show specific tech-centric careers that are available in the city. It's a little wonky (after all, it's from Indeed), but the thought that went into giving people the ability to find a gig without leaving the main site is pretty lofty.
In Startup Here, you get the sales pitch of why, as a tech entrepreneur in the making, you should be moving to the A. It doesn't get too deep, but the abbreviated copy says enough to convince someone with talent and funding (or just the former but in search of the latter, or vice-versa) that Atlanta is not just "Georgia," if you follow my lead.
Going for crowd-sourced inspiration, the site's Why We Love It section goes interactive with social media, asking Instagram users to tag photos of things they love about Atlanta with #CHOOSEATL and allowing them to show up in a consistently growing horizontal feed. Please God let someone be curating/moderating these photos; it could get REAL.
Add all of this to the fact that the companies who put it all together did it without a single cent of funding--they basically just cared enough to do it--and it's enough to easily impress folks like me who have been residents for almost 20 years. Big-ups to site design/development agency Nebo for a clean, vibrant and useful website, which includes beautiful video courtesy of cinematography/editing company Lyda Interactive and super-smooth time-lapse footage of the city put together by UpThink. The effort was also supported by Atlanta Tech Village (what up Birdsong!), likely future mayor Kwanza Hall, my very good friends at Monday Night Brewing (what up Baker!), and plenty of other hopeful ATL futurists. Speaking of hope, hopefully everyone involved with the creation of Choose ATL will be supported soon by an influx of tech talent and investors who see what these good folks have done and realize that there are ways to get involved.
Then, with all that new tech money in ATL (which this time has nothing to do with reality television -- ha! get it?), maybe we can finally fix the traffic so that the next time-lapse video of 75/85 won't look like no time has lapsed at all.
As a few wise young Atlantans once said, "It won't be long, shawty. Be patient..."
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