What first started as a method of mockery soon became one of Ogden’s most popular social media efforts. Only in Ogden, headed by Bryan Smith, is here to show the world what makes Ogden special.
It all started in 2010, when Smith said he saw some dead cows in the back of a truck on Harrison Boulevard. He took a picture and started a Twitter of things happening in Ogden that he thought was funny. This was the first time he proclaimed, “Only in Ogden!”
“I got some feedback from some people, and they suggested that I not look at things that make fun of Ogden, but to be a more positive force,” Smith said.
From there, it was Smith’s intention to create a virtual space that highlighted the positive aspects of the community. Only in Ogden then became “a vehicle to expand the exposure of arts and culture in the community,” Smith said.
Smith now ventures outside of Ogden’s city limits to capture events and post them to his website and Facebook page. He said he does this so people outside of Ogden will go to the page and see Ogden in a different light.
“I want to be an ambassador for Ogden,” Smith said. “The big thing that I do is take a lot of pictures. I try to make them creative and have a certain energy about them in my composition and subject matter that makes this place look quite fun. That is my intention.”
Only in Ogden is also a community-supporting organization that sponsors local events such as Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music, the Roots and Blues Festival, Junction City Music Series and Peery’s Egyptian Theater organizations.
“The reason why we are doing this is to raise awareness in the community of all these great things that are happening,” Smith said, “and to help the people who are doing that reach new corners of the community.”
According to Smith, about 3,000 people attended the Ogden Music Festival. He has sat on the festival’s board of directors for five years.
“I do it for the love of it,” Smith said.
Attendance of the summer concert series held in Ogden has seen growth over the past few years, with 400 people attending on average. After seeing the success of the Twilight Concert Series, Smith said he wants to see more than 400 people come out on a Wednesday night for music.
Only in Ogden’s Junction City Music Series kicked off this year. Smith designed the concert series to bring in higher-caliber artists than Downtown Ogden Inc.’s budget can support. Smith said that in order to see better music in Ogden, he needs support from locals and sponsors.
Room to grow
Smith has been involved with networking and technology since 1989. Ever since then, he has built websites and web projects. Only in Ogden currently consists of a website and Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Smith said his “little project” is evolving into something much bigger.
“I’m working on a network of publications,” he said. “Only in Ogden is one of them.”
Smith said he plans on all of his publications having a multimedia element.
“Right now it’s Facebook and web, but it will be print and store.”
Smith said he dreams of Only in Ogden becoming a community hub where urban gifts will be sold and ideas will flow freely. He said he doesn’t know exactly when his plan will come to fruition, but that he is talking to the right people.