Photo by Matt Olin, One River, Many Stories logo designer and webmaster

Photo by Matt Olin, One River, Many Stories logo designer and webmaster

Engagement with the One River, Many Stories project has been diverse and extensive.

Contributions ranged from photography to drone footage to radio and television programs, and a list of our contributors and collaborators can be found here. The focus on the St. Louis River resulted in many story topics such as art, the environment, politics and the economy, family, recreation, community, and more.

We spent the last few weeks compiling data on social media posts, shares, comments, and likes into a spreadsheet. We looked at Facebook posts to our page or tagging us, Facebook posts using our hashtags, tweets to our Twitter account or using the hashtags, and Instagram photos using our hashtags. Then we counted and compared posts to find a story in the numbers. Here are a few highlights of those social media interactions. The data were up-to-date as of late May 2016.

Across social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we had close to 1,000 posts and shares by 170 unique accounts. Most of those posts–884– were either by One River, to our social media pages, or using #OneRiverMN or #Chigamiiziibi. Of those posts, 518 were original comments, photos, articles, blog posts, or other original content.

Our most active contributors on social media were Ivy Vainio (21 posts), Lincoln Park Youth Voice (14), Duluth News Tribune (15), Ed Newman (ennyman) (16), and Eric Chandler (ShmoF16) (14). Coming soon: a post featuring comments from our top participants on what inspired them and what they appreciated about One River, Many Stories.

Here is a glance at the numbers, organized by social media platform plus our ArcGIS story map.


  • Facebook was the most active social media platform with over 500 posts and comments.
  • Ivy Vainio, artist of the Diverse Connections exhibit at the Duluth Art Institute, shared the most original work, and this photo of her session with Duluth resident Stephan Witherspoon received 134 likes.

  • Tom Hollenhorst of the Mid-Continent Ecology Division of the Environmental Protection Agency in Duluth, added many photos of the maps that he and Matt Kania of Map Hero, Inc., helped create for Diverse Connections. Hollenhorst also had the most posts to our page.


  • Eric Chandler, who blogs and tweets as Shmo, wrote the most original content, including this Memorial Day post. He also published through other sites such as Perfect Duluth Day, and his posts were often full of fun images such as this photo of his dog Leo:

Photo courtesy of Eric Chandler


  • By the numbers, Ivy_Vainio and lpyouthvoice tied for first place by each using our hashtag 14 times. Here is a photo lpyouthvoice posted after the Diverse Connections exhibit:

Story Map

Our map contains 47 unique stories by 20 different publications. These stories are mapped onto locations along the St. Louis River and surrounding areas. If you wrote a story for One River, Many Stories and do not see it on the map, we would love to hear from you. E-mail us at

At the beginning of the project, we said “see what happens when journalists and storytellers in one region turn their attention to one topic.” We never could have anticipated the community commitment to storytelling and to the river. What did the project mean to you? Where would you like to see the momentum go? Leave a comment below.

About One River, Many Stories

“One River, Many Stories” is a media storytelling project and resource hub to assist journalists, educators and citizens tell stories about their community. The project is a partnership between the UMD journalism program and area journalists. Funded through a Knight Foundation Fund grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, the project will test ways media collaboration can inspire innovation and nurture engagement among professional journalists, educators and citizen storytellers in the Duluth area. The river corridor was an easy choice for the topic — government leaders, local nonprofits and citizens are all passionately working to retell the narratives of places along the river. The St. Louis’ rich history parallels the story of this region: stories of triumph, struggle and renewal. Duluth’s past, present and future can be found in the river’s diverse and ever-changing landscape. The hope is that other communities will use it as a model to embark on their own experiments in collaboration. Follow One River, Many Stories: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.