As a follow up to my post on the use of "heartland" in the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, I thought I would take a look what the contemporary internet user base thinks of the term. What better place to look than the link library of 1 million users of the social bookmarking program del.icio.us?
As of 2:35 PM, Sunday, January 13th, 2007, there were only 27 links using the tag "heartland." You can see them here: http://del.icio.us/tag/heartland .
The bookmarked sites included an investment fund based in Columbus, Ohio; a Dutch language site commenting on a youth book series called "Heartland" about a young girl who raises horses; the site of an Indianapolis based Christian group; an Indiana Christian seminary; Heartland World Ministries Church based in Texas; a post in blog written by Fulbright Scholars; a theater in Kansas City; two online shopping outlets; a Des Moines, Iowa, mortgage broker; Heartland Community College in illinois; a Canadian academic site on globalization with an article about Mackinder and the geopolitical "heartland;" a Vanity Fair blog post by James Wolcott that includes the sentiment that the "heartland" doesn't exist outside of contemporary cultural politics; a political blog post slamming the Heartland Institute for supporting big business; Iowa Governor Vilsack's politcal action committee; business news about an energy firm with "Heartland" in its name; a tourist site about haunted houses in Illinois; a Library of Congress online exhibit about France in the Americas; a San Diego nonprofit called Heartland Human Relations and Fair Housing Association; an academic paper on British Columbia; and a satiric blog post about nonconservative Americans moving to Canada, etc.
All in all, not too surprising in the range of uses for the tag.
And for my next trick, an analysis of the tag "history" on del.icio.us. This will take much more time because "history" is used at a rate of 50-100 links per hour! That would make a great profile of what the internet-savvy public thinks is "history" online.