Bridging the Digital Divide

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One of the many ways to enjoy the bridge online.
One of the many ways to enjoy the bridge online.

By Elisabeth Anderson

Who knew?  People are talking about the Williamsburg Bridge online.  A lot.  The span boasts a big following on social networks where bridge-related tips, tweets, check-ins and likes abound.

On Facebook: 163 people like Williamsburg Bridge – Landmark on Facebook.  That’s 163 folks bothering to like a static page that provides nothing more than a picture, map, and brief description of the bridge.  In addition to the likes, there are 834 reported check-ins at the bridge posted via Facebook.

On Foursquare: The check-in numbers are considerably higher on Foursquare.  The Williamsburg Bridge has 13,147 check-ins from 4,050 people.  The bridge even claims its own Foursquare Mayor, a Brooklyn-based actor and photographer named Roger Wingfield who has checked in 57 times in the past 60 days.

There are 36 tips associated with the bridge.
-From the History Channel: “After completion in 1903, the Williamsburg Bridge set the record for the longest suspension bridge.  The record was broken in 1924 when the Bear Mountain Bridge was completed.”
-From Crunch Gym: “We’ve all done the BK bridge, so it’s time to step it up with a walk across this bridge.  It’s steeper, so you’re guaranteed to feel the burn.
The bridge itself isn’t the only Foursquare check-in spot.  MTA – Williamsburg Bridge has 7,724 check-ins; Under the Williamsburg Bridge has 962; Williamsburg Bridge Bike Path has 395; and Williamsburg Bridge Bus Terminal has 263.

On Twitter: Folks are tweeting about the bridge, too – mostly praising its inclines as great for runners and bikers.  In one recent 24-hour stretch, there were 17 tweets referencing the bridge.  Here are a few of the latest standouts:
@frndofthepeople: Riding my bike across the Williamsburg Bridge listening to ‘All Things Considered’ on NPR #nerdalert #undercoverhipster
@POSTBIKESNYC: While you’re high don’t ride your bike on the Williamsburg Bridge #danger #alert
@Brittnimo: Brownbaggin tall boys of BudD over the Williamsburg bridge with Phil Cohen on the way to a free bluegrass show #wednesdaynightadventure

On Yelp: Yelpers are yelping like crazy about the Williamsburg Bridge.  The bridge, categorized as Local Flavor, Landmarks & Historical Buildings, boasts 61 Yelp reviews.  Thirty-five of these are five star reviews, 14 are four stars, 11 are three stars, and three are two stars.  As on Twitter, Yelp appears to be a repository for love letters to the bridge, letters that praise it as both an aesthetically and athletically pleasing place:
-Ellen K., New York, NY: “Double incline all the way.  FULL ON.  You can’t help but feeling like a badass running this bridge.  Do it.”

-Mary C., Ronkonkoma, NY: “Free bridge.  Leads you right into LES from Queens, Bklyn, and LIE.  What’s not to like?  Remember that blackout on Aug 14 2003?  I was in the city working.  I walked my ass home with my fellow New Yorkers on this bridge…I salute you, Williamsburg!”

-Patricia H., New York, NY: “Dear Williamsburg Bridge, Thanks for kicking my ass every time I run across you. Love, P”

Nicole A., West Palm Beach, FL: “It’s pink, people!”
The Williamsburg Bridge is certainly not lacking in digital admirers.  Whatever the platform, the virtual world is a virtual lovefest for the bridge.  Perhaps Yelper Angel L. from Brooklyn put it best: “I like looking at this bridge from afar.  It may not be classy like its older sis the Brooklyn Bridge or as put together as the Manhattan Bridge, but not too shabs.”  Not too shabs indeed, Williamsburg Bridge.

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