Sheila Scarborough, Liz Strauss and Becky McCray at SOBCon09, ChicagoThe publication of my Social Media and Tourism ebook yesterday (update – it’s now part of the Tourism Currents online course in social media) marked the start of an exciting business collaboration with Oklahoma-based entrepreneur and small town business expert Becky McCray.

We are going to work together as speakers, trainers and consultants, showing others how to use social media for economic development.

There are a number of ideas and products in the works including interactive training packages and possibly paid membership to a Web-supported community.

Here at the beginning, Becky will focus largely on small town entrepreneurship and I’ll focus on what we call “Tourism 2.0” – how travel and tourism can use social media tools to raise awareness of their destinations.

We see them as part of a greater economic development whole for any size of town or city, anywhere.

As a small town entrepreneur herself, Becky noticed lately that many “Shop Local” campaigns seemed to be targeted to larger cities, and she had specific ideas about how to execute such a project in a small town.

Being Becky, she went ahead and wrote the book on it:  a step-by-step guide to starting a “Shop Local” campaign in a small town.   I recommend it for any business person, especially in this tough economy.

I assure you that as we launch the rest of our business, you’ll hear about it on this blog, from me on Twitter or from @BeckyMcCray on Twitter.

Thanks for your support!