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Flash 101: Getting The Most Out Of Our News Alerts


Bit of a breather here in The News Bunker as things ease a bit except for friends, neighbors, firefighters out along Marsh Creek Road today. We’re hoping you all catch a break out there today.

We believe in keeping you abreast of developments and innovations here at NEWS24/680 and since a whole bunch of you have embraced our Flash Alert offering we thought it best to outline how it works so you’ll know what you’re getting.

Most of you get our approach, sending out text messaging on breaking news situations to our many subscribers so you’ll know when that fire is coming over the hill, that fleeing bank robber is in your back yard, or that the freeway is about to be shut down.

They work and you’ve embraced them and that latest surge of subscribers have all been onboarded so thousands of you are Flashing. Thanks. We do get questions from newbie users or folks thinking about subscribing so allow us to answer the most frequently posed questions here:

Cost: $10 for 3 MONTHS of Flash Alerts, billed automatically via PayPal unless you cancel. Note: It hasn’t happened yet but if you do cancel you won’t be able to sign up/pay for the Flash via PayPal again – that’s PayPal’s model, not ours. We can use alternative billing methods (check, other e-billing systems, baked goods etc.) if you do return to the fold.

What You Get: Our alerts, sent directly to your phone – most often with information you need to stay one step ahead of the fireball. We still think fondly of the feedback we received from one user who said she followed our alerts up to the moment the fleeing felon we were writing about was arrested at her doorstep. It can be a little mind-altering, we know, but she seemed grateful to know what was happening and that’s what we’re about.

Areas Served: Currently Lafayette, Moraga-Canyon, Orinda, Walnut Creek-Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Concord, Alamo-Danville, San Ramon, Richmond, El Sobrante. We bundled some areas due to their geographic compatibility. And, yes, we are getting requests from other areas for service. Stay tuned on that.

Frequency: Kind of a work in progress. Some subscribers want every shoplifting incident, every auto accident. Others don’t want their phones beeping them every ten seconds – which would happen if we covered every incident. So, we strike a balance – if that shoplifting turns into a 100mph pursuit on Highway 24, you’ll get Flashed. If that accident closes I680, you’ll get Flashed. We do prioritize our alerts. We’re here to inform, not pester.

Unintended Realizations: When we built The Flash it was with the idea that it would be a one-way communications device – our sending information to you. Since we’ve been using it we have found that subscribers often text us back with news tips, photos, etc. We’re all about communication with our readership and this development was/is welcomed.

“How Do I Get It?”: Question No. 1 from our readers so all you hardened Flashers can close your eyes or go make a cup of coffee or something while we point the as-yet unknowing to the top of the site which features direct links to the signup interface. We’ve also embedded a link HERE. We’ll need your smartphone number, your hometown or the area you want news alerts from (pick from the list given above) your carrier (e.g. Verizon, AT&T etc.) and that ten bucks we mentioned and you’re off. That’s it.

Okay? Thanks to all of you who have joined us this past week and to all our Flashers we say: Thanks for Flashing!


    • We are covering a breaking news situation in Orinda, yes. Believe they got away… we’re checking further. Flashing everything we have.

  1. Local officials missed out on a substantial opportunity by not linking to this service. More dependable and reliable than other city and county systems.

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