Panama City Beach – Interested in being the first to know what is going on in Panama City Beach? At the end of this short article be Tony Simmons, the online editor, the News Herald Twitter addresses are listed. The explosion of so-called “social networks” not only has changed how people use the Internet, but also who those people are and what they expect the ‘Net to do for them. And it’s a mistake to dismiss these changes as a fad.
Facebook, which was originally created as a college networking site for 20-somethings, had its biggest growth area last year among 35- to 49-year-olds, and it added twice as many new users ages 50 to 64 than it did in the under-18 range. The current hot phenomenon, Twitter, added 21 million unique users last year — a growth of 2,000 percent over the year before.
(These stats are from the Nielsen company and were discussed in a recent Freedom Communications workshop.)
What does this mean for people in the business of communicating? What’s the next hot social media platform, who will use it, and how can we best serve your information and entertainment needs there? Honestly, like lots of businesses, we’re trying to figure that out.
What we think we know for sure is that there’s a personal connection to information sharing in these social media that is as important as the message. Information is relevant because your friends think it’s important enough to share. You engage with the message, own it, and dialogue about it.
Additionally, there’s a level of trust implicit because the info is coming from people you picked as Facebook friends or you decided to “follow” on Twitter. As an information gatherer and clearinghouse, we take that trust very seriously, and we know that the moment we break that trust or overwhelm you with messages you aren’t interested in, you’ll stop following us.
And while we want you to follow us, we also recognize the value of following you. For years, news outlets have used the “listening post” model of gathering information and opinion. That is, going to the coffee houses and barber shops — wherever people gather and converse — to take the pulse of the community on issues of local or global importance.
Now we’re listening to you all day long as you tweet about your lives, or post status updates, or share photos and videos. We’re taking your suggestions (and criticisms) and following up on your leads. (We learned about the closure of Trigo cafe via Twitter, for instance.)
If you tweet and you’d like to follow us, check out @The_News_Herald for the latest news and @NH_Sports for — you guessed it. You can catch some staffers too: me @midnightonmars; Will Glover @wdglover; Matt Dixon @Mdixon55; S. Brady Calhoun @SBradyCalhoun; Scarlet Sims @ScarletSims; Mike Cazalas @mikecaz; Brad Milner @BradMilner. There are many others from various departments as well — advertising, production and marketing.
Drop us a 140-character line.