You might remember the Polk Bloggers. Two years ago, a small group of local Web site writers started meeting. Nothing earth-shaking, but inexplicably we were more organized than any similar group in neighboring Orange County. The Orlando Sentinel even sent a reporter over here to see what trouble we were planning. Nothing really, except meeting to chat. We kept the organization loose; the only agreed-on rule was that the officers would be limited to a Sargent-at-Arms.
I’m kidding. There isn’t any rules. Digital anarchy at its finest. We meet whenever anyone wants to meet. No agenda. Just a chance to see each other face-to-face.
We’re very social people, and that’s why our next meeting is very different. We’re combining the meeting with one called up by a Tweeter. Now, that has nothing to do with drugs. The Tweeter in question is called such because he uses Twitter, a communication service that enables users to broadcast short 140-character messages to many followers, or directly to a trusted friend. You can view the communication at a particular URL, or add an application to your phone so you can communicate with select Tweeters. Using Twitter is like “live blogging on steroids.” People use the service to ask questions, set up group meetings, find a restaurant in a unfamiliar city, or simply carry on discussions.
The Lakeland Tweeter in question is Barry Friedman, the Managing Editor/Digital for The Ledger, Lakeland’s hometown paper. Friedman called for a TweetUp, a meeting of locals who use the service. Tweeters come from all backgrounds and ages, but, as far as I know, local tweeters range in age from eight to somewhere in their 50s. Since every one of the Polk Bloggers users Twitter, I naturally suggested we piggyback meetings. (Or “horn in” as we used to say in the old West…Louisville.)
I’ve been using Twitter from close to the beginning, but last year started using it heavily conjunction with this site. Lakeland Local uses Twitter to broadcast short nuggets of information to all those who choose to follow. The title and link to each new post is immediately sent to all who follow on the channel: @lakelandlocal . That channel also broadcasts the titles and URLs for all The Arts in Lakeland posts. (You did know about our companion Lakeland Arts site, didn’t you?
Breaking news, short important notes, and interesting trivia is broadcast @lakelandflorida. We use that channel to also display such information on our home page.
I have a personal Twitter account @chuckwelch, but I use it mainly to schmooze. It’s a good service because 140 characters is about my writing limit. (I wrote this post in 140 character bursts.)
Bloggers and Tweeters aren’t the only groups invited to next week’s meeting. You’re still invited if you use any of the big social media services like Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, or the Craigslist personals. To help reach interested readers Lakeland Local publishes to most of those sites. (OK, not so much with Craigslist. We sold all our extra furniture.) Over the next week we’ll post where you can find us on each of those sites.
All that simply to rerun our post on the meeting:
If you blog, tweet, post on Facebook, or use the Internet to communicate — you’re invited Thursday, January 15th at 6pm for a meeting of like minds.
Black and Brew Coffee House
205 E. Main St.
Lakeland, FL 33801
All ages welcome. Please pass it on.