Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Clean-Up Meeting Electronicized

Photo (such as it is) by Evan Brandt
The planning meeting at the Ricketts Community Center Tuesday night. (Notice the woman sitting at the far left with the notebook? That's Cat Coyle, our intern. She will be writing the real story for the newspaper.)

So as some of you no doubt have noticed, one of our charges as avatars of Digital First Media, is to familiarize ourselves with all the gizmos and gadgets the kids use these days.

One of them is Twitter.

Yes, I have a Twitter account and you can "follow me" (a term that continues to creep me out) @PottstownNews.

I mostly re-tweet the tweets of others (hard to think of a sillier sentence), and links to my own stories in The Mercury.

But lately, my co-worker Frank Otto (@fottojourno) has been "live tweeting" from his meetings.

So, in a fit of envy and old-guy panic, I have begun doing the same.

Last night, I joined the dozen or so residents at the Ricketts Community Center to hear their input for an event being planned for October called "PottstownCares."

And, although it was conceived of as a kind of clean-up event, last night's meeting suggests it may soon grow into something more substantial.

However, I will not be writing a story for The Mercury, or writing one here.

That task will be undertaken by our most excellent intern, Cat Coyle, a Boyertown Area Senior High School   graduate now attending West Chester University.

(We are working diligently to persuade her against a career in newspaper journalism. There's no future in it.)

Nevertheless, you can't intern at The Mercury and NOT cover a meeting and write a story from said meeting. So we decided she would cover this one and write it up.

Look for the story in a couple days. (Hey she makes her REAL money as a lifeguard, so give her a break for goodness sake.)

I, on the other hand, set a different goal.

I "live-tweeted" the meeting. That means sending out 140-character messages in real time as the gripping events of the meeting unfold.

Live-tweeting is probably best-suited for spontaneous citizen uprisings in Turkey. That's exciting.

If you've ever watched grass grow, then you know how exciting "live-tweeting" from a school board or community meeting is. But that makes it no less important.

Having mastered live-tweeting on my nifty new iPhone (thanks Digital First Media), I now present to you the next demonstration of my digital expertise.

There is a program out there in the cyber-maelstrom called "Storify," that allows you to collect these tweets (as well as posts from Facebook and, no doubt, pins from Pintrest and Tumbles from Tumblr) and string them together into a story (of sorts).

Personally, I think it sounds like a Harry Potter spell and I surreptitiously wave my wand and whisper "storify" whenever I put one of these together.

For the record, this is only the second one I've done.

Anyway, I present here the totally un-dramatic storified tweets of the #PottstownCares meeting.

(You will no doubt want to tell your grandchildren of this day...)

1 comment:

  1. This was worthwhile, Evan; thanks for making the effort. As for the Otto-man, neither of us are likely to hold a candle to his opinionated-as-hell live tweets. Frank-ly, that's what makes 'em so much fun to read.