One April morning in 2012, I decided Manitou Springs didn’t have enough of an online presence. Information about events, news, and everything else were hard to find online, and so I began I Love Manitou Springs.
Initially, I wanted to develop the page to begin doing professional social media marketing work, and you can see that in the first two months’ posts on this page and Twitter. But the Waldo Canyon fire in June of that year changed everything.
During the early stages of the fire, there was a lot of confusion online about almost everything related to the fire. As the hours and days ticked by, the Pikes Peak region’s online community became a powerful resource of information. I was part of that movement and did what I could to help.
One of most important things about the fire were the pictures: there were so many awfully negative pictures posted of the fire that for months on end, people all over the world thought Manitou Springs had burned down and been obliterated off the face of the planet. Local businesses and the tourism economy suffered through a difficult summer.
In August of that year, I began to utilize I Love Manitou Springs to reverse the damage to the city’s public image. I posted information about every business in Manitou Springs on Twitter. I took more pictures. I attended meetings and tweetups to talk about the impact of the fire and how Manitou Springs was recovering.
Then the floods hit Manitou Springs last year. Again, I Love Manitou Springs was used to inform and alert residents of announcements, events, and even the floods. While I missed the August flood to attend the funeral of my grandfather, I returned home that weekend and immediately got back to work to restore the city’s public image.
I did a lot of sweeping and carrying buckets filled with mud. I shared information online as much as I could. And by the fall of last year, I completely stopped posting information about both the fire and floods and focused on rebuilding the city’s twice-damaged public image. I wanted people to see the city was doing okay. We’re scrappy here in Manitou Springs.
You know, I love Manitou Springs. The people here are wonderful, and while life is far from perfect here, there’s no other place I would rather call home than beautiful little Manitou Springs. And I Love Manitou Springs is a work of labor borne out of love and a desire to help.
I want to thank you for all the Likes and Shares on this page. I love the comments, and I’m always so grateful you take the time to leave a comment on the page. Or interact with me on Twitter. Or tumblr. Or Instagram.
I also wanted to let you know I’m running for office. In March of this year, I became a candidate for Colorado Senate District 11. My name is Norman Paotie Dawson and I want to be your next state Senator.
The election is in November, and I hope you will check out my website, Facebook and Twitter. I also want to ask for volunteers, and if you can, please consider donating to my campaign.
Running for office is an extension of my desire to want to help my community, which includes El Paso county/Senate District 11. I will bring the same passion and desire I have for Manitou Springs to the state legislature and will do my best for the people of El Paso county.
I hope you consider checking out my website and information, and maybe even vote for me.
I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the #tbt picture, which will shortly be posted. Thank you for reading this.
Norman “Paotie” Dawson
Candidate - Colorado Senate District 11
Owner - I Love Manitou Springs