Another Sign That Social Media Has Gone Mainstream

I live in Forest Lake, MN, a distant northern suburb of St Paul, Minnesota. At one time Forest Lake was primarily a summer resort and cabin destination. The lake’s tiny summer cabins have gradually been replaced by year-round houses and more recently multi-million dollar mansions. Farmland begins less than one mile from the East side of the lake. We like Forest Lake because it reminds us of a small town in northern MN. It is not the type of town you’d think of as technology savvy.

Over that last few years, Forest Lake has been busy updating its quaint downtown area and Broadway Avenue, the road that connects it to nearby Interstate 35. Broadway Avenue was widened and decorated with fancy curbs and inset brick detailing on crosswalks. A roundabout was added to the main intersection downtown and two massive walking bridges were constructed along the walking path that was once a railroad track.

In the fall of 2010 I noticed a sign that read “BroadwayAveFL” with a vaguely familar “T” logo next to it. When I realized it was a Twitter name, was blown away that a social media website had gone mainstream enough to make it onto a road sign. I wondered how many residents had any idea what it meant. Prior to this, the only reference I have noticed to any media on a road sign is to a radio station for weather or accident information.

I made a mental note to take a photo of one the signs before construction ended. I didn’t take these photos until spring of 2012. Luckily for me the construction process has taken a longer time.  : )

@BroadwayAveFL had its first tweet in April 8 2010 “Pre Construction Open House for CR 83 tonight (4.8.10). Washington County Headwaters Service Center. 3:30 PM – 7 PM”. As of this writing it has 207 followers, wait… now 208 (including me). @BroadwayAveFL itself is following 4 other Forest Lake related accounts.



  1. When I was in SFO last, the local news was asking for photo submissions of real time, newsworthy information like am traffic issues, or weather. Social media platforms are very accessible, and the information is very easy to share. Thanks for the great post Dan!

  2. Can I clone your article to my blog? Thank you.