Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Facebook Success Story - The Halfmoon in Putney

By Jon Paget

I love small business success stories, particularly when there’s a social or community element that’s driven the success.

Despite what has been said about our changing society, I don’t believe people have ever lost the desire to belong to a community; only that technology has taken a while to catch up with the way that people now lead their lives.

This is best demonstrated by the fact that very few people now know who their neighbours are, fewer still know those that live half way down their own street.

What we’ve seen since the introduction of social platforms such as facebook and twitter are places where people can establish (and join/interact with) communities with those who share common interests – and not a geographical location, something that all but the most hardened of rural inhabitants would realise, is the basis for stronger personal relationships.

And so we reach the story of The Halfmoon Pub in Putney which has, since 1963, been one of the best live music venues in London and has played host to bands such as The Rolling Stones, U2 and Kasabian to name but a few.

However, the recession took its toll and in November 2009 the Brewery owner contacted the Halfmoon’s management stating the Halfmoon was to close as a live music venue and re-open as a Gastro Pub.

Cue the response…

Thousands of people including musicians and bands (both famous and unsigned), local residents and politicians, the local press and music fans from all over the country came together to run a campaign to stop the Halfmoon’s closure. The campaign was brought together via a facebook group which ended with more than 6,500 members.

And, at the turn of the year the Brewery reversed their decision to close the Halfmoon meaning that live music was set to continue and the community, which continues to exist on the Halfmoon’s facebook page, got to keep their much loved live music venue – the single common factor that unified the entire community.

This proves that the community is alive and well (and arguably stronger than before) but the basis on which they’re built has changed for good.

Want to read more? Read The Halfmoon’s full survival story.

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