30 NOV 06: GOOD SITE, BAD SITE
In this era of blogs and Myspace, anyone can have a "web site" of some kind. Businesses have them. Political campaigns have them. Even high school classes have them to promote their reunions - although the one my class had for its 25-year reunion in 2001 was abandoned by this year. Apparently 30 years are too much for many of my classmates to bear.
In the last 48 hours, we've strangely received two e-mails about the same web site - apparently from two different places, with two very different viewpoints. This one reached us first:
I have to tell you I really enjoy reading your blog.
You haven't said anything about the new look of the WRBL website. Have you seen it? I think it looks great and is a good way to keep up all day with current news in the Columbus area. Check it out!
An Avid Reader
Thanks for the nice words, A.A. - but to be honest, I haven't said anything about changes at ANY of the TV station web sites. And I thought it was a major development when WXTX put Roszell Gadson and Deborah Singer at the top of its home page for awhile, replacing Hank Hill and Bart Simpson.
So we checked the WRBL web site. The top of the home page has changed, to reflect the new logo and news set of recent months. And three anchors are shown there - although I'm wondering if Jack Rodgers and Bruce Frazier are going to have a competition, to determine who will represent the sports department.
WRBL has joined the wave of news web sites letting you view televised reports online. There's even a way for you to obtain text messages of breaking news on your cell phone. And some people I know will be thrilled to learn this -- the short commercials for an Auburn car dealer inside news stories seem to be gone.
We don't usually mention this, but we must note the e-mail above came from a woman with the last name of Sweigart. Keep that in mind, as you read a second e-mail which arrived Wednesday:
You often talk about local TV news, but I am surprised since your domain is on the Internet why you don't chat up more about their companion web sites. Often they are a poor excuse for reading...full of grammatical and spelling errors, not to mention news that's never updated. As I write this, one local TV website still has a story about a plane crash east of Columbus. It appears this crash is way EAST of Columbus since the web site still says their crews are on the scene, and it's "developing".
Plane Reported Down
Chris Sweigart | firstname.lastname@example.org
Site Coordinator, WRBL.com
November 28, 2006
Emergency Responders are investigating reports of a plane down East of Columbus.
Authorities have not been able to find the alleged down plane.
News 3 has crews on the scene.
My guess is either cell phones don't work that far east, the station crew ran out of gas perhaps....or just maybe they forgot to update their top story after 10 hours. Which one do you think is right? I'm glad I don't depend on this TV web site to keep me up to date. Your daily blog is a far better source of information.
Thanks for YOUR nice words, Bob - but now I'm feeling a bit guilty. I never knew about that possible plane crash until I watched the WRBL news Tuesday. So I never even went to the scene, much less take a crew -- and I'm not sure my neighbor would have been welcome with his BB gun.
I'm going to guess Bob's last theory is the right one. The WRBL web crew forgot to update Tuesday evening's top story by Wednesday morning. But then again, maybe the web crew was at the scene trying to find the plane....
(But to be fair, I think there are some places east of Columbus where cell phones don't work -- or they won't until Box Springs residents are persuaded to accept phone towers.)
I can understand Bob's concern about TV news web sites, and the errors they can have. Even in the short news item Bob sent us, it's called a "down plane." If it was made of feathers, you'd think it would have a soft landing.
The WRBL home page also shows the station supports the "Musculary Dystrophy Association." Y? Because Jerry Lewis cares....
I don't claim to be Mr. Know-It-All about the Internet, but at least one company which hosts TV station web sites has built-in SpellCheck capability. You simply click a button to run it as you post the story. But trust me on this - when a SpellCheck doesn't recognize the word "blog," can you really trust it?
So why don't I "chat up" TV station web sites? It's part of my grand strategy. The more annoyed you are with them, the more likely you are to come back to me. NYAH-ha-ha-ha-ha....
Now let's see if I can spell better than everyone else, as we review Wednesday's headlines:
+ Columbus educators began a two-day seminar on teenage gangs. Police say at least a dozen gangs are operating across the city. There's a way to bring them all together and make peace - but the city's trying to crack down on those Bradley Theatre parties.
(If police really want to go after the gangs, here's an idea I haven't heard anyone mention. Do criminal background checks on anyone buying spray paint.)
+ A Columbus woman told the evening news a fire truck crashed into her car because the truck's brakes failed. Larinrea Faye Wilson suggested this proves the Columbus Fire Department fails to properly maintain its vehicles. How does she know this, based on one wreck? The University of Alabama waited 23 losses, before it knew its football coach was a failure.
+ Albany city officials asked the Georgia Department of Transportation to extend Interstate 185 south of Columbus, and all the way to Florida. WRBL talked to one woman in Richland who predicted the town would not benefit, because all the business would locate near the interstate. Two-word answer -- downtown Starbucks.
+ Troy Public Radio's "Community Focus" discussed historic Fendall Hall in Eufaula. Site Director Deborah Casey insisted the hall's "correct colors" are the brown shades painted in the 1880's, as opposed to the original white with green shutters from the 1820's. If it's not one division over colors in the South, it's another....
+ A Birmingham radio talk show host accused the Birmingham News of covering up a possible scandal, connecting Alabama Attorney General Troy King with fired college Chancellor Roy Johnson. WAPI's Frank Matthews claimed the newspaper hid the story until after the election because it endorsed King. Matthews never needs to have a psychic for a guest - because he apparently is one.
+ Former Atlanta infielder Jim Morrison was named the manager of the Columbus Catfish. It looks like we'll hear "Light My Fire" at Golden Park at least once per game next season.
+ The National Football League fined Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick $10,000 for his (ahem) "finger pointing" after Sunday's loss. You may recall Vick was fined $5,000 a few years ago for not keeping his socks up straight. So in the league of "one knee equals two feet,"there's a new rule: one finger equals four ankles.
+ Instant Message to the man I saw dancing outside near Fourth and Veterans Parkway, singing "Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don't Care": If I had a video camera and put your strange act on YouTube, I suspect you would care....
SCHEDULED FRIDAY: A Georgia company that's giving away convertibles.... or is it?....
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