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Technology helped keep public informed

October 2, 2008 - Art Smith
The search for David Wayne Mosley Wednesday not only set the local police departments into motion but also tested some unique ways of communicating with the public.

Marietta Police Department sent out a recorded phone message to residents. Marietta College sent out both text messages and record messages to the phones of students, staff and faculty.

Staffers here at The Times spent much of the day updating a story on the Web site. Readers were alerted to progress of the situation by a breaking news banner that appeared at the top of the page all day.

Readers flocked to the page. More than 5,881 people read the page. With the site being updated through out the day, many people read it more than once. The page recorded nearly 9,000 page views. That one story accounted for more than 18 percent of the traffic to the site Wednesday.

A lot of readers became part of the story by leaving comments on it. Some described how students were doing that were “locked down” in areas schools. Others expressed relief when the man was arrested at around 3 p.m.  By Thursday morning 132 readers had left comments on the story. The story was one of the most commented on since we started allowing readers to comment on stories earlier this year.

Text messages, cell phones, the Internet. Most of us take these modern conveniences for granted. Wednesday they all came in useful to help keep the public informed about an evolving story that affected their safety.


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