Wick Communications

Having fun with social media

In Online media on 9 May 2013 at 3:14 pm


The other day, I was engaging in that most hallowed Internet tradition – the act of screwing around – when I stumbled on Stephanie Romanski. Or, as I know her, @stephromanski.

Romanski is the Web coordinator for the Grand Island Independent newspaper in Nebraska. She has crafted quite an interlocking network on the Web and I was impressed as much by her spirit as her expertise (which is not inconsequential.)

The thing I like about her, and other social media evangelists, is a certain pleasure they derive from the practice. They are having fun, and it shows. Couldn’t we all use some more of that? And perhaps more to the point, don’t you think we would attract more interest to our online work if we seemed to be enjoying ourselves?

I would venture to say most of us look at the sprawling social networks around us as a chore. Some days I count myself in that number. But I keep coming back to Facebook and Twitter and Vine and so forth in my spare time. Just as in real life, I’m attracted by people who are fun to be around and/or those who have something to teach me.

Romanski says she used to tweet her newspaper headlines as haiku. Why? Heck, I don’t know. Why not? Actually, I think I do know why. Because it’s a diversion, something fun to do at work, and also something likely to be retweeted and gather more notice … you know, because it’s fun.

Most of our Twitter feeds are pretty boring. There. I said it. We are shrinking our objective newspaper standards into 140 character blobs that have to include a link to a story. Maybe there is a better way. …

There are a number of existing Twitter memes floating out there. #tbt refers to “throwback Thursday.” Folks often include that hashtag and a photo of themselves from way back. You could do that with an old photo from the newspaper. With a little thought, that photo could relate to something currently in the news.

Don’t like that one, how about #ff – “follow Friday.” Suggest others to follow in the community. With any luck, those folks may suggest their friends follow you as well.

As Romanski suggest, this stuff ain’t rocket science. Have fun with it. Here, I’ll go first with a haiku ripped from our headlines:

Local water peeps

Announce their new treatment plant

Will save us money



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