Back when Facebook was new on the net, in order to spur participation on the platform, Facebook made a page for every state and issued a challenge: “Let’s see which state can get to a million likes first.”
Texas won and won handily. It wasn’t even close.
Given Texas’s galactic reputation for state pride, the only surprise would have been had Texas not come in first. California and New York were much more tech savvy and digitally connected at the time and should have at least come in second and third, but they didn’t.
Colorado took second place, probably because the state was proud that it was once part of Texas. I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Since that time, Texas pride pages have proliferated on Facebook. Most have sister sites on Twitter, but I’m choosing to focus exclusively on Facebook for today.
So here are ten pages, of the hundreds in existence, that you might enjoy “liking” and seeing their posts in your news feed – I certainly do. I’m leaning away from the strictly business, news, political or government pages in favor of those that are mostly about celebrating Texas as a beautiful land and culture. The order is random and the choices are mine.
Traces of Texas shares fascinating photos from Texas history, recent and distant. Most are high quality black and white photos. Traces of Texas followers send in never-before-seen-by-the-public photos from old family albums and library collections. Traces of Texas is an online museum of Texas history – created by Texans, for Texans.
Texas Humor has a huge following because – I figure – most people like a good laugh as often as they can get one. They don’t publish jokes in the traditional sense. Their humor is largely visual, comprised of Texcentric memes that are all the more funny if you’re Texan. For instance, you will see a picture of wind turbines with the caption: Texas is so hot we’ve installed fans outside.
I Love Texas is perfectly named. It focuses on celebrating Texans’ love for their state, in breathtaking photos of Texas landscapes, cityscapes, and historical stories in short form. They have a sister page called I Love Texas Photographs which is certainly worth following. I Love Texas greets you every morning with a stunning photo that says, “Good Morning from the Great State of Texas” and signs off every night with a prayer for those in the military serving overseas.
Texas Hill Country is likely the granddaddy of this genre, with nearly a million followers. It has been around since before Facebook, as a site devoted mostly to exquisitely beautiful photos of the Texas Hill Country. Now it still has the photos, but has added nostalgia, music, historical stories, humor, etc. THC also has a companion page named simply Texas.
Texas Highways is a publication of the Texas Department of Transportation. It is one of the few older publications that has successfully migrated onto the net and gotten better. I enjoyed Texas Highways as a kid for their photographs and enjoy it even more today on Facebook for the same reason. But is more than photographs. It is, in their words, “the official travel magazine of Texas and the ultimate guide to the Lone Star State.”
Texas Back Roads is, like the title suggests, a backroads travel page. They say that, “From Abbott to Zunkerville and Antiques to Ziplines, we are letting you know what there is to see and do in Texas.” TBR also provides a good deal of historical stories.
Texas Storm Chasers is the premiere Texas weather page on Facebook. It further proves that the weather in Texas – and in general – is an everlasting subject for discussion. Started by two high schoolers in 2009, their aim is “to provide weather information in the evolving digital age and to share our professional storm chasing content.” Here you will find unsurpassed video and photographs of extreme weather.
Texas Country Reporter is the Facebook companion to the TV show where you’ll get links to the stories and additional Texas-centric posts that they think you’ll enjoy.
Texas Monthly is another of the classic Texas publications that has adapted to the digital age quite well, where they remain the “indisputable authority on the Texas scene,” from arts to food to travel.
Now, I said I wouldn’t mention any business pages in the list but I must include the largest following in that category by far. With 65 million “likes,” it is – drum roll please – Texas Hold’em Poker. Yep. 65 million people learning when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
The Honorable Mentions, which you can find by searching Facebook:
Best of the West (West Texas)
Texas Farm Bureau (Splendid Photos)
I AM A Texan
Images from Texas
Texas Mountain Trail Region (West Texas)
Vintage San Antonio
The Texas Observer
El Paso Historical Society
Landscapes of the Texas Hill Country (Superb photos by master photographers)
The King Ranch
Schumacher Cattle (Texas Longhorns)
Cowboys of the Waggoner Ranch
Stories from Texas
My Favorite Texas Landscape Photographers:
Wyman Meinzer (State Photographer)
Carol M. Highsmith