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Wahl to wall: Don’t miss out on the ‘extras’

Published on July 5, 2017 4:10PM

Most of you are reading this column from the paper and ink version of the Chieftain. It’s our mainstay, our pièce de résistance.

This week I wanted to make sure that all of our readers are aware that we also have a vibrant website and lively Facebook page. The website contains the bulk of the copy found in the print edition plus a few extras each week.

Many times, our photographers will shoot dozens –– even hundreds –– of photos. There’s no way to use all of them in the print version. You can generally find up to a dozen additional photos of most events covered in the print edition on the website.

Another feature of the website is the ability to leave comments on stories we’ve published. Not everyone wants to take the time to write a formal letter to the editor.

On the website, you can comment with very little effort. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put thought into your comments.

Since this feature was introduced, most everyone has been responsible with their comments. Occasionally, someone will cross the boundary, usually spouting profanity. These comments aren’t posted.

Facebook is currently the home of most of our video efforts here at the Chieftain. If you have not stopped by, you are missing some terrific posts.

A couple weeks back, Lisa Anderson from Blue Mountain Divers shared a video shot along the bottom of Wallowa Lake. It holds the all-time record for number of hits on Chieftain Facebook with more than 36,000 views. It had nearly 400 “likes” as well.

We have also posted video from the Oregon Mountain Cruise, Blue Mountain Old Time Fiddler’s Fiddle Show and most recently, a video of the Wallowa Lake Tram Party with some pretty spectacular footage of the breath-taking view on Mt. Howard. That video has had 6,500 views.

It’s difficult to judge where members of our Facebook audience reside, but clearly the reach is far beyond Wallowa County.

We’ve relaunched the Chieftain’s YouTube page as well.

Several exciting new features will roll out on Facebook later this summer.

One thing you won’t find on our Facebook page is the unsubstantiated garbage that to me seems far too prevalent in social media. I chuckle at the posts alerting me McDonald’s is coming to Wallowa County, but I also realize how much stuff like that damages the credibility of legitimate news services. Can you say “fake news?”

The Chieftain also has a Twitter account, but it’s a work in progress at this point. The hardest part is condensing everything we have to say to 140 characters.

Last year, photos, videos, GIFs, polls and quote tweets were exempted from the character count. You still only get 140 characters towards text messages and links. For most of the writing done here at the Chieftain, 140 characters is the opening sentence.

More efforts to connect with our audience on Twitter will be coming this fall.

Instagram, Pintrest and Snapchat are on the radar.

Our goal in all of this is to make people aware of the beautiful and awesome place we live and also introduce them to the Chieftain and its content.

We’re easy to find on Facebook. Use facebook.com/Wallowa to join the fun. Our web address is wallowa.com. The website includes a link to the .pdf version of the print edition.

Wahl is the editor of the Chieftain and a fan of social media as a way to communicate a message, most of the time.


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