Column: Line Drives — Social media is a useful tool

[This is my column in the Feb. 20 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Social media has always been a useful tool.

From catching up with old classmates to keeping in touch with friends from high school and college after graduation, Facebook and Twitter have been beneficial to eliminate the mindset of “out of sight, out of mind.”

It gives us a chance to continue to be a part of the lives with friends no matter how many miles may be in between.

But what social media has been, outside of a way of hanging on to past friendships, is a beneficial tool for writers.

The relationship between a journalist and his or her audience can be tough to measure when the only interaction between the two used to be through each issue of a newspaper and letters to the editor.

Social media has been able to change that — especially for small town publications like The Commercial Review — by allowing readers to get on a slightly more personal level with those of us who write the news.

And with sports and postseason action, social media allows the readers to get an idea of what’s happening at out-of-town contests if they are unable to make the trip.

Over the last week, with the girls swimming state finals, girls basketball sectional, wrestling semi-state tournament and the upcoming state tournament and boys swimming and diving sectional, The CR social media accounts have been — and will be — beneficial in letting readers who could not travel to Indianapolis or Fort Wayne stay up-to-date with the action in between the issues of the newspaper.

The reaction, both on Facebook and Twitter, has been positive.

Tweets of Eric Hemmelgarn dominating at the semi-state meet took off with favorites and retweets, and swimming updates garnered many likes and comments on Facebook as well.

So as postseason action continues, Facebook and Twitter will be active with updates. Follow The CR account (@commreview) to keep updated as to what is happening. Of course, there’s also my account (@thewrite_schanz) and Ray (@cooneyrj4) too.

As for Hemmelgarn’s run at the state title, follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #hemiatstate to keep tabs on what could very well be a state-championship performance.

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