OK, you’re looking for a dance studio to get your Bachata on. Let’s see, where is a good one located? What are their hours? How much do they charge? Gradually, you find yourself saying, “I can barely find anything using Google or Google Mexico, in English or Spanish. That can’t be.” Or maybe you want to eat out tonight, some specific cuisine. Italian, maybe. Well, Guadalajara definitely serves Italian food. But where are the Italian joints around here? Doesn’t anyone have a Web site? If you’ve found yourself frustrated by trying to find things online or general Googling, read on, dear searcher, read on. We were too and we can help you discover hidden gems as well as the run-of-the mill stuff.
The quick summary is that Googling has its place, but you’re going to need to expand your manner of Google searching or use other resources altogether, specifically social networking sites, to find what you’re looking for. Using Google to search social networking sites is one such recommended tactic. For instance, try the following: facebook: salsa guadalajara jalisco
With that being said, we also recommend you search directly on the following social networkings sites (and any others you can think of) to increase your chances of finding what you want:
If you’re interested in more detail on this topic, read on…
You’ve used Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and maybe even Couchsurfing. But, chances are, you’ve used them to braodcast your latest adventure, whether that was a night out or a funny video share through Facebook, an interesting article through Twitter, a cool new hot spot through Foursquare, or a new trek through Couchsurfing. When you want to find something (location, business hours, cost) or buy something, you go online and your portal to everything else might just possibly be Google Search. Now, the whole buying online revolution has a bit of a way to go in Mexico, so let’s just say right now that you’re not going to be buying your favorite soap off Amazon.com and having it delivered to you in Guadalajara. And as for dance studios, restaurants, co-working spaces, hardware stores, and so on, you’ll find out fairly quickly that Google either has not cataloged everything down here or that many businesses simply don’t have their own web sites and there are huge gaps between what you’ve seen walking around and what you can find on the WWW.
What’s the deal? Well, all those social networks you’ve come to use to be social, people take to the next level in Mexico. Down here, Facebook might be the only online presence a business has, or if they do have a Web site of their own, their Facebook page is more up-to-date than the official site. Down here, when people can’t find something, they hit the boards at Couchsurfing.com to ask the community where to find the stores that sell this or the businesses that offer that service. Sure, a business in the U.S. most likely has a presence on Facebook, but if you want the official contact information, hours, business description, and so on, if you want to find their main presence online, they’ve usually got a dot-com, and that’s the face of the business first-and-foremost.
People are going to check in at a steakhouse or a museum on Foursquare, no doubt. But locally, the only way you may find out where that place is or that it even exists is by finding it on Foursquare to begin with. What does it all mean? It means that to find what you want you’ll serve yourself well to augment your Google-searching chops with the development of your Social Networking/Tools chops. We’ve seen this time and time again – the dance studio we ended up attending in the end and have had a great time attending for several months now had a web site but the info was completely out-of-date. Guess what? They have a Facebook page and it’s got everything – course offerings, instructors, a calendar, location, you name it, and it’s accurate. Plus they set up groups to keep people in each class connected. And it makes sense – all these social services are free. They offer tools that people can use for many different things, not just “poking” someone. If you want to get your business online fast, you can. There’s no barrier to entry, and hey, you know how it works already.
In addition to using Google to search social networking sites as we described in the opening of this article, try the following text in your Facebook search bar: Posts about “bachata” written in Guadalajara, Jalisco Yes, it will pull up any posts written in Guadalajara about “bachata”, including someone posting about how they’re going to a concert where the star performer is a bachata music specialist. But that’s the world of search – you cast a broad net, and then you begin to refine your search. You’ll notice on the right-hand side of your page a search section appears and you can refine your results there, adding additional search terms or criteria. For instance, you may try “bachata studio” or add a Post Type or a Time and Location parameter. You get the gist.
Couchsurfing is one of the more interesting examples. Ostensibly built to service the shoestring traveler, it has become a way for anyone new to a place to find out the latest local happenings or mine for locals-only knowledge. Check out the Top Conversations section of Guadalajara for some examples.
The next time you’re hunting for something, hop on one of these socially-minded sites and give your search a whirl there. You may just find what you’re looking for and save yourself some frustration while you’re at it. Then, visit us here and leave a comment on how it went, or maybe even let us know of a new trick you’ve figured out! Happy hunting!
(A word of caution when it comes to locations – mapping software is still not pinpoint perfect in Mexico. This means that Google Maps and Bing Maps may not plot an address correctly. Just something to be aware of.)