What Are All These People Talking About?

Crash, boom, bang!

Crash, boom, bang!

I was lucky.  I picked up my recently repaired car on Friday, shortly before the heavens opened on the Mid-South, knocking out power and knocking down trees.  I was lunching in the downtown Blue Monkey when the worst of the storm passed.  The worst we saw was a slight power flicker.  If anything, I thought the power might go out and I wouldn’t have to pay.  That didn’t happen, but by the time I got home, things were already starting to dry out.

I heard the return of the storms Saturday night (or was it Sunday morning?).  Again, we didn’t have much of any damage in my part of downtown (although this was the day my newspaper carrier decided not to double bag the paper, so it was a little damp).

Yakety-yak

Yakety-yak

I say all that to say that I was tickled to hear one of the problems some people were complaining about on Monday was that, with their power out, they couldn’t update their Facebook pages.  Of course, no one said that was their biggest problem, but it just goes to show how dependent we’re becoming when it comes to the social media.

I am amazed (and often amused) when I see the sheer number of blogs out there.  And I’m not talking about the blogosphere in general… I’m talking about right here in Memphis!  For a while, the only local blogger I knew was my pal Joe Larkins.  Because we have similar professional backgrounds, I’ve always been interested in what he talks about.  But once I started doing this blog, I keep coming across different blogs and different blog aggregators.

A lot of this exposure came when my efforts would included with other bloggers on sites like “The Memphis Blog,” by the Commercial Appeal.  Or the smart folks at Main Street Journal.  Not smart because they link to my stuff, I met one of the staff at the recent citywide trivia finals, and you gotta be smart to be in that.

Tweet tweet!

Tweet tweet!

Anyway, it’s not just people.  More organizations are going online to try and bring some immediacy to what they do.  Friends of mine at CNN are tweeting and blogging news and program updates during the day.  It’s kinda neat to see the “CA” initials after a CNN tweet… I know it’s my friend Carrie.  I was also impressed to find out that Memphis Light Gas & Water has been tweeting during the recent power outages, giving people a quick way to find out what progress was being made in getting people powered back up.

And no, it’s not like the local TV executive who once suggested running an on-air crawl to let viewers know the station had been knocked off the air during a storm (I can’t remember whether we explained why that wouldn’t work or if we just nodding and moved away from him).  MLGW tweets work whether you’re computer is up or not.  Most cell phones can access Twitter, so as long as the phone has some power, you’re not completely cut off.

Hello out there!

Hello out there!

Between FB & Twitter, it’s becoming a lot easier to keep in touch with everywhere.  People worry about letting either become major time wasters, but like everything else, you just have to exercise some control.  Plus, as I learned during my recent spate of joblessness, it’s a great way to connect and reconnect with people.  A friend of mine was telling someone the other day how FB is helping her get in touch with a lot of people she went to high school with.  It’s great to not have to wait for a 5 or 10 year interval to bring everyone together in a reunion.  I heard from my high school sweetie today… and it’s literally been 35 years since we’d been in touch.

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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