An article on the unique state of mind that is the Great State of Texas got my attention for nostalgic reasons, but it offers an important reminder for communications planning, too: place matters.
'Place' in this case is code for all kinds of critically important aspects of the way we think, feel and act as a result of where we are and where we're from.
It shapes our attitudes about food, health, music, fashion, sports, business and family. It informs our beliefs about faith, politics and history. And it labels our personas, for better or worse.
Now Texas truly is special, but it's not unique in this regard.
I've met 'Texan's from all over the world - they just happen to call themselves Bavarians, or Kiwis, or Geordies, Emirati or what one guy from Kyoto called himself but I can't remember now.
We all know that place is important, and share a chuckle at the Americans who ask for a 'pan-Asian' campaign, or the Asians who ask for a European road show, or the Europeans who see America or Africa as single homogenous markets, and yet we simultaneously believe the internet and social media platforms like Snapchat are rendering physical location obsolete.
Both mind-sets are valid.
The 'flattening' effect of the internet is undeniable and unstoppable, and in many ways it diminishes the importance of proximity for members of the communities it serves.
But in other ways, the internet (especially social media) amplifies and concentrates the power of place in our minds: it reaffirms our myths, strengthens our ties and enables new connections with our old 'places' that might have otherwise faded away.
Technology is changing how it matters, but not replacing it, and when we think about how we communicate, we need to remember both.
You don’t just move to Texas. It moves into you.