Do you remember where you were when you heard the news about JFK's assassination? Bobby Kennedy? Martin Luther King, Jr.? Where were you when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon's surface? How did you hear about explosion of the Challenger or the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11?
Here's how I heard the news: My teacher was called out of the classroom and when she returned, she told us President Kennedy had been shot and school was being dismissed. The principal had heard the news on the radio. We went home and watched the tragic event unfold on television. We were glued to the TV watching our own Ohio hero Neil Armstrong.
I was on vacation with my parents and brother when the car radio news program reported the Bobby Kennedy assassination and it was the radio we turned to for news about King's shooting. Radio again was my source of news about the Challenger and the World Trade center. In both cases I was at work, so radio was the link to the world's news.
Fast forward to 2011 and television still brings the images into my home; the radio is always on in the car and in my office. We still grab the newspaper to catch up on what's happening, but there's a new source for news and turned the average person into a reporter with on-the scene news and photos. All you need is a smart cell phone. This new avenue for news is also used by the traditional media outlets, including The Marietta Times, WTAP-TV, The Anchor, and Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
Do you already have a Facebook account? Then you know how quickly news spreads on Facebook. For example, a few weeks ago I was walking our puppy when my phone beeped, signaling a incoming Facebook message. 8:18 pm Fire on the Interstate Bridge. I thought, now that explains the sirens I've been hearing. For the next 20 minutes Facebook users, especially We Need More Marietta Firefighters Now, reported the news about that tragic accident. WMOA/WJAW reported on Facebook, "8:46 pm Shortly after 8 Monday evening, officials responded to an accident involving a tanker truck and a vehicle. Officials say the tanker truck caught on fire. Police have shut down northbound traffic on I-77 about a half mile from the incident."
Facebook and other social media are changing the way we communicate, changing the way we advertise our products and services, and changing the way political campaigns are run. Did you know? Facebook has 500,000,000 active Facebook users. One in every 13 people on the earth use Facebook. Fifty-seven percent of people talk to people more online than they do in real life. Forty-eight percent of young Americans said they now get their news through Facebook and over 200 million people access Facebook via their mobile phone.
This year, the Marietta Area Chamber is focused on helping our members learn more about marketing. Buddy Butler from Stonewall Marketing spoke recently on The Power of Branding. Marketing on a shoestring? With our new program, Tech Tuesday, we're exploring social media, a very low-cost way to spread the word. All of us at MACC use social media to talk to our chamber members and promote our services. We're extending to our members the opportunity to learn more and do more in this new world. On Tuesday, May 10, Tech Tuesday presents "Why Facebook?" with Kristen Meeks, W.Va. Social Media Consultants, who will guide the attendees through an exploration of Facebook.
Charlotte Keim, CCEO-AP, is president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, The Riverview Building, 100 Front St., Suite 200, Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on Opinion.