Press Talk: Great live chat, green eggs and heroes!

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



An angry reader expresses his outrage at having to pay for news on his favorite website.

“Hello? What day is this? Friday? You’re kidding, right? My Press Talk column is on Saturday. What am I doing here? Would you believe I moved to Friday because it’s a much stronger readership day?”

Well, it is true about the readership, but, nah, that’s not why I’m here.

I came over on Friday — I’ll be back next week on Saturday — because I was advancing my Live Talk Friday on our website. And maybe the early column was part of the reason for having a very strong showing at the live chat. Thanks all.

The Columbian has been doing this live chat stuff for some time now. It’s sort of like a town hall meeting with mostly local community leaders on our website.

But I figured, why not let an average dolt like me in, to mix it up a little.

And what really convinced me I should take a shot at it was this comment I received on one of my past columns: It’s from Brenda Knapp.

“Lou … I am drinking my morning (coffee) as I punch out my weekly comment to Lou’s Saturday morning ‘Town Hall Meeting’ of your supporters and pundits (me).”

Brenda — and others — have viewed my Saturday column on the Web as sort of a town hall meeting. Readers comment, and I and other readers comment back.

So, today I opened up the questions in our Live Chat arena.

We had a bunch of different questions. Most dealt with the CRC. Now we’ve done a ton of stories on this new, proposed bridge. But for some we could never do enough. Or we could never editorialize enough on something like giving residents a vote on this issue. Fair enough.

But we had other questions as well. We even extended the time by about 30 minutes because we had so many questions. So thanks to everyone who joined the fun. I had fun.

We even talked a little about bloggers. Thus the video I have posted here on how a reader and a newspaper guy talk about life in the newspaper business, including bloggers.

o o o

News folks do a lot of stuff out there. And we’re getting more and more into things like Facebook and Twitter. Most of us, for example, are now tweeting out thoughts. And we’ve got followers. Recently, I was at a Tweetup we held. I — and other reporters — were able to meet a few folks who use Twitter and follow us. (You can find my Twitter handle at the bottom of this column.) Good people, nice chat, good times.

o o o

Speaking of good times, I hit a couple of schools to help out with the 17th annual breakfast to honor Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Beaches Restaurant & Bar does all the heavy lifting for this event. Owner Mark Matthias gets a whole pile of credit. He’s not a personal media hog, even though he’s out and about a lot. I mean, you rarely see his photo.

So, as a public service, I thought I’d bring you a photo of one of his shoes. Hey, it’s better than the alternative. Truth is, this guy is a hero to me.

o o o

Speaking of heroes, I saw some friends early Friday morning at the American Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast. I’ve been to this event several times, and I always come away feeling better. This Friday was no exception. What a program. And to know that there are a bunch of folks out there who step up and do the right thing for others, well, that just makes me feel great.

These folks are the real deal. Wow!

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, or Twitter:@LouNews.

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