There’s a new phenomenon in town.
I learned how to tweet.
Now, I’m not saying it’s a ‘phenomenon’ in the sense of a ‘extraordinary person’ definition, but rather another part of it – the part of the definition that says ‘extraordinary event’.
So, my first tweet was certainly notable, especially considering it lasted nearly five years and many members of my immediate and extended family were chasing me to come out of the ice age with my clamshell phone and join the iPhone universe.
I have to admit it was fun and – unfortunately – a bit addictive.
Some people like to play games on the phone, some watch videos, some check the weather; There is so much you can do with them. Now that I have that iPhone, I can keep track of baseball or hockey scores, our local temperatures, or my dad’s raining in New York, etc.
Not much for games yet but I never thought I’d be on Twitter so I guess that means anything is possible.
My colleague Virginia Still helped me create my own personal Twitter account and also gave me access to the Escalon Times so I could tweet both my own thoughts and any news/sports information about the newspaper. We also have Twitter for the Oakdale and Riverbank papers, and I’ll jump into them as soon as I feel comfortable with my tweeting abilities.
The addictive part for me takes me back to my radio days; That’s the instant gratification scenario, when something happens, you broadcast the information and people respond. My first tweets were from the opening football game of the season, when Escalon hosted Linden on August 20. Actually, I think the first one was actually match day, and I just tweeted that it was going to happen – the tweet got some likes!
It was all I really needed; I started tweeting from the game, updating my newly discovered ‘followers’ with quarter points and final result. Few players now follow Escalon Times as well, in this digital age it makes sense to use all the platforms we have.
I hope newspapers will always be here for people to turn the pages over a cup of coffee, but it’s also important that we embrace the technology we have to stay connected with our readers at all levels.
Probably the most fun was when I was at the girls volleyball game recently and I started tweeting about the student cheer division scores and the ongoing fervor. It got likes right after posting it – I suspect it’s from one of the guys in the EHS cheer section.
I’ve also gotten a little crazy when it comes to choosing who I want to ‘follow’, so I’m learning to navigate this landscape and finally be able to scale it up a bit more. It’s easy to see how you can get lost just scrolling through various tweets and spend a lot of time commenting and retweeting. I will also try to post some personal tweets on my own account from time to time.
My tweets for the Escalon Times so far have primarily been about sports, but I’ll definitely expand this to use for news and community events.
Frankly, the riverbed fire in Oakdale on Tuesday night, August 17, got me thinking; I could tweet about it while watching the flames from one spot along River Road. There’s been a pretty quick turnaround time to post something with our website and Facebook, but what if I was tweeting? From the scene.
My brother has an Instagram account that he uses in connection with his job at Bass Pro Shops in Utica, New York, so maybe this will be my next online connection attempt. We’ll see.
I’m not sure I’m ready to do anything with Tik Tok, but at least I’m getting a little bolder. And who knows, while I’m really tweeting now, the sky’s the limit.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 847-3021.