7/28/2015

Using Twitter

I use Twitter frequently to archive the research I am doing. I also want to share what I learn with the public. I imagine that people are interested in the things that I am interested in.

Today the topic was the new streetscape for West Main Street, something I have written about for many years. The Planning Commission took up the streetscape six months after Mayor Huja blasted it and said he wouldn't support it. 

This is my blog, so I can limit the backstory. But, I can also refer people to tweets I make throughout the day when I'm researching something.  

I don't like that the default embed here doesn't add a timestamp. I'll have to try to fix that at some point. I want to begin to use this space to experiment again, or maybe I need to find a new space at some point to better inform the public on things I think are important.

I'm an odd duck. I love doing this. I don't think I acknowledge this enough, but I love that I get to work for an organization that's devoted to trying to educate people about local policies and the system by which they are made.

And today I got to time travel.

That tweet was a bit obscure, and I never followed up on it. I got sidetracked a bit by the conversation about Cherry Avenue. I didn't work at Charlottesville Tomorrow at the time, and when I didn't have this job I didn't have the interest level needed to pay attention.

If I had listened then, I would have known about the history of the Cherry Avenue zoning district, which governs the closest major city street to my house. I didn't own the house at the time, though, so how could I have known that the zoning issues would matter to me?

At the time I rented with the woman I was married and I was working to build a business here in town. We had an infant and I was more concerned with trying to make ends meet. I was a sometimes reporter for public radio but I was mostly invested in the Charlottesville Podcasting Network.

Here's a post of a piece I did for CPN back then.

Myo Sim Karate and Kendo turns 40

Twitter didn't exist back then. Facebook was a closed system that was still in development. Social media didn't exist. Heck, this blog was social media at that time. Some people figured out how to find me, somehow, and there was this sense that new things were possible.

Charlottesville Tomorrow was growing at the same time, and here I am in 2015 working for an organization that continues to try out new things. I'm fortunate to have found something to do for a living that allows me to explore my community while telling stories read in the Daily Progress as well as being able to share minutiae on Twitter.

Because, that's the role Twitter plays to me as I exist as a journalist in the second decade of the 21st century. I'm able to take my followers through my research on days like today where I had to make sure I had copy for an 8:15 deadline for a meeting that began at 5:00.

I believe in grounding my stories with as much historical context as possible, so I prepare a lot more than I actually get into my copy at deadline.

You can look at those more closely at my twitter account. I had planned to write more but it's getting late.

I do want to begin using this blog again, though. These days it's off the social media radar unless I get a link from someone, but I really just like having a place to write what I want in public at a time when I wonder what that concept even means.


No comments: