From the Front Desk: A whole new way to connect

By Kathie Savelesky
The Monitor is on Facebook.
We have actually been on Facebook for a couple of months. For right now, people who "likeGÇ¥ our page get a posting of our "Around the ValleyGÇ¥ event calendar and notification each Tuesday when our website has that week's paper uploaded for viewing, which will connect you right to our website.
Last weekend, Polly attended the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Conference (where she once again won a bunch of awards of which we are all very proudGǪ but I digress). She went to a seminar about social media, and came back to me all atwitter (get it? A-Twitter? LOL. If you don't know, "LOLGǥ is Facebook-ese for Laugh Out Loud. I digress yet again).
There is a lot a group or business can do with Facebook!
We are thinking of posting photos and a few "breaking newsGÇ¥ items on our page intermittently. With the changing of the season, I can see school closure information being posted GÇô I guess I'll have to get myself out of bed a little earlier for that GÇô as well as flood and resultant road closure information.
Speaking of photos, we've got a Facebook cover photo contest going on right now! Any amateur photographer can enter. Just email, Facebook, or walk in your photo of anything Sky Valley, with a little bit of information about the photo, by Sunday, October 14. Your winning entry gets you a year's subscription to the Monitor, delivered to your mailbox!
Why, you may be asking, would someone want a subscription to the hardcopy Monitor when there's a website (soon to be updated) and Facebook?
I don't expect the internet Monitor to take the place of the hardcopy Monitor anytime soon. We've watched the Seattle P.I. go online-only, but the local papers aren't really experiencing the same woes, at least not as quickly.
And, like me, a lot of people are still old school. In my world, scanning a website just isn't going to get me the same information as a hardcopy newspaper will. I like the news in my hands, in my face.
The Monitor's website may compete a bit with the hardcopy paper, but I sure don't expect Facebook to be that way.
Facebook is social media. We are looking at it as our link to our communities and the people in them, not so much "the news.GÇ¥ We want "likesGÇ¥ from the community. If you have a business page, we want to "likeGÇ¥ you, as well. If we haven't yet, bug us!
In addition to what I've mentioned above, we are hoping that our Facebook interactions will help us get an even better feel for the pulse of the Valley; what news interests you, what stories need a follow-up. It's all about being the best representative paper for all of us that we can be.
Our publisher, Cliff Wright, is on board. He likes the idea of Facebook polls. So do I. I've already done a little of that on my own Facebook page; now it's time to try in on the Monitor site. If all goes well, I'll have something up there by the time you read this.
I think that our excitement about this facet comes not only from the seminar Polly attended, but a local Facebook page that she found and showed me.
If you are a Facebook user, and you haven't seen it yet, I'd like to recommend a group page called "You Had Me at Monroe.GÇ¥ The link is WOW!
There are over 500 people in this group, loving all things Monroe! If you want to find something in the Valley, ask on this page. If you are excited about an event; tell everybody on this page. If you need to find random carpet squares or are looking to rent somebody's garage for storage, then post it on You Had Me at Monroe!
What's even better about You Had Me at Monroe is that it is absolutely, staunchly non-political. It's about loving Monroe, not about the school board or the city council or Walmart. The site administrators will give you a little warning, and next, they'll yank the whole string of political or otherwise not-nice posts.
Polly and I are huge fans.
You want to get political? Look up the school board member; visit the city website, go to Friends of North Kelsey's Facebook page.
Better yet; come see us! We won't allow some things, either GÇô words commonly considered unacceptable, disrespect of persons, bashing of local businesses, the usual things we won't publish in a letter to the editor.
We're on Twitter, too, but I can't really talk about that because it's Polly's baby and I haven't made the full Twitter leap yet. It took me long enough to try Facebook and I can only let social media take up so much of my time. If you know Twitter, check it out!
This is a new endeavor. We, as always, would love your input, ideas and criticisms. If you think you're seeing our posts too much on your page, don't just "unlikeGÇ¥ us; let us know! We're a brainstorming bunch, here. We'll work it out.
Facebook. It's just another way for the Monroe Monitor to be your media, social and otherwise.
Kathie Savelesky is the office manager (and now Facebook manager) at the Monroe Monitor.-á


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