December 18, 2014

It’s time for a local Twitter revolution

By Eric Young
Managing Editor | editor@ogemawherald.com
Follow me on Twitter

Posted 4/4/12

Those of you who know me are well aware that I’ve been a big fan of Twitter for a couple of years now. Twitter, if you are not familiar, is a microblogging site that allows you to post short, 140-character public updates.

It’s kind of like a scaled down version of Facebook, only good.

Facebook, of course, is huge here in the Ogemaw, Arenac, and Oscoda County area. When we started our Facebook pages a little more than a year ago, we gained more followers in a week than we did on Twitter over the course of a year. Because of that, we’ve put most of our focus on Facebook over the past year.

But a couple weeks ago, a couple of us went to a conference to learn about reporting using social media. During that conference I was reminded of why Twitter is so much better than Facebook, and why we should be using it here.

The conference had its own official hashtag, which is basically a “#” symbol in front of a search term. When we posted on Twitter about the event, we used the hashtag. Others at the event could then search for that hashtag and see all of our posts. It allowed a group of about 150 people who did not know each other to communicate with one another.

The big benefit of Twitter is that unlike Facebook, Twitter is completely public. Anything you post can be viewed by anyone else using the service. For a news agency like us, it gives us fast access to information from people in our community.

It also gives you the chance to easily communicate with us.

Journalism has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days when the reporters were tucked in the upstairs or back of the newspaper office, and the reader never got a chance to actually talk to the reporter.

We’re now more accessible than ever. We print our email addresses with our bylines in every edition of the paper. We have been interacting with our readers in the comments on our website. And now, we will be interacting with you on Twitter.

Our entire editorial staff have created Twitter accounts to allow us to post quick updates throughout the day about things going on in the community. We might post short updates from meetings we cover, or even live-tweet a court case. Or it could just be random observations we make throughout the day.

More importantly, we invite you to follow us and interact with us. You can send us news tips and ask us questions, and we’ll get right back to you.

To get your own Twitter account, go to www.twitter.com. Below you will find a list of the entire editorial staff with their Twitter usernames. Make sure you follow us, and happy tweeting.

— Eric Young: Eric8199

— Tim Barnum: OgemawTim

— Greg Buckner: OgemawGreg

— Jeff Patrus: Jeff_Patrus

— Kevin Bunch: AC_Bunch

— Sherry Barnum: Sherry_Barnum

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