Lots of new, well-scrubbed and shining faces in our News Sphere of late and we welcome you all. Here are some basics you’ll need to know to get the most out of us in the months ahead – veteran readers may want to go get a cup of coffee or check on the stock market.
First and Foremost: Use The Web Site. We built it just for you and most of the offerings there are free and ready for you to plug in to. You can access all of our offerings, services, and interfaces from our menu bar. Use it as your Jumping Off point for everything else we offer.
Second: Our Social Media arms are extremely active and busy, we use Twitter and Facebook for basic, area-wide news alerts and, yes, occasionally we inject some humor there. Facebook and Twitter are (usually) more conversational and breezy and fun. A LOT of readers talk to us there and we’ll chat back BUT please use the TIP LINE for more serious, offline outreach.
Third: The most often repeated question we get here at NEWS24/680 would be: “Any Update?” Now, it is totally understandable for someone to post a query of that sort after we put out a News Alert BUT you have to know these incidents are often occurring at lightning speed, are fairly intense (often very intense) and require our undivided attention. Rather than answer each poster individually we would remind them and you here that we have a Flash Alert System in place which sends minute-to-minute reports and updates directly to your phone. This is a subscription-based service: $10 for three MONTHS of alerts. If you want your alerts fast and first, Get the Flash.
Fourth: Be Nice. If you can’t be nice, be polite and careful with your words. We have some of the greatest readers in the world here, are immensely proud of their contribution (and sense of humor) and we welcome everyone willing to play by those rules. You can disagree with someone without having to resort to the usual Interweb Flamethrower Wording. And, no, we don’t capture your personal information, sell it or use it for marketing purposes of any kind.
Fifth: Have a good time. Many of you have remarked about the sense of community derived from this site and you just have no idea how good that makes us feel. You’ll see neighbors “chatting” with neighbors and even old high school chums reconnecting with classmates from time to time. Also, we do try to answer readers when we’re off deadline and greatly enjoy those conversations. Please know we mean no offense if we suddenly have to “drop” the conversation to go write about something. It’s the nature of the business.
The Bullet: In a nutshell, you’ll find us Fast and Friendly. We love and respect the news. There aren’t a lot of us but we are all local, born to seek out the opposing view, and we’re not afraid to poke fun at ourselves or others when appropriate. Now that you’ve joined us, we hope you stick around.
I’ve never understood why people ask “any update?” If the media has an update, they’ll let you know. They’re journalists. Journalists aren’t in the business of withholding information. Come on, people.
Internet comments – keep it in perspective, and take comments with a grain of salt. You’re interacting with total strangers, and everyone is sitting behind a keyboard. We all get annoyed and annoy each other – it’s the internet. Most of us don’t have the time to sit and think about what we can say not to offend Bob in Lafayette. Bob will get over it. All opinions should be respected.