Growing up in Iowa, the co-host of KIRO FM’s Seattle’s Morning News, Linda Thomas, aka “The News Chick,” created her own small town version of ”Twitter” the way an Iowa baseball player might carve out a “Field of Dreams.” Since news blogs and RSS feeds were still figments of science fiction imagination at the time, Linda had to fashion her very own news bureau, irrigating her own “Field of Streams” with news and information from wherever she could find it, in newspapers from around the heartland: Chicago, St Louis, K.C., and in local reportage.
Flash forward to the regular tweeting, blogging, and podcasting Linda treats her 20,000 Twitter Followers to every day (rising and writing starting at 2 a.m). Seattle’s “News Chick” (a name bestowed by a morning guy partner that Linda not only likes, but has trademarked), Thomas has been named one of the top 20 woman journalists on Twitter and was once ranked as #4 on a list of journalists who were often retweeted more than many top newspaper sites.
“Twitter is my favorite social media tool for news gathering. It is where I can find the personal, smaller, but no less significant stories about real people and everyday life,” she shared. “Twitter allows everyone to tell their own story. Those news items are the ones I like to cover most.” Like a recent story on school bullying that she uncovered from an online tweet, Linda’s interests run the gamut. If you are retweeting “@The News Chick“, you’ll find a lot to choose from.
In the past 24-hours alone, you could have listened to “More Facebook Timeline Changes,” presented in a unique form of ”tweet-like” podcast that Linda delivers in “140 seconds or less” of audio” (compared to 140 characters or less for a Twitter tweet.) Or you could “RT @TheNewsChick “5-year old Tacoma Boy Tries Comedy,” or for your social networking amusement, “RT @TheNewsChick ”Oregon Man Explains His Naked TSA Protest at the Portland Airport.”
Thomas can take the pulse of the local Seattle Twitterverse the way a TV meteorologist can read Doppler Radar. Take, for example, the anomaly of a series of tweets that seemed uncomfortably out of synch. In this case, The News Chick was following the public pronouncements of a newly-minted Seattle icon, Miss Seattle. What was odd is how Miss Seattle was tweeting about Seattle : ”I seriously am hating Seattle right now,” went one tweet from pageant winner Jean-Sun Hannah Ahn. Another tweet was even more scathing. “Take me back to AZ,” tweeted the former Miss Phoenix. “Ugh, I can’t stand cold rainy Seattle and the annoying people.”
Linda’s blog post on the unusual behavior quickly went viral as retweets ricocheted across the Web. A conciliatory Miss Seattle apologized for the tweets in a comment on TheNewsChick blog.
“I apologize for the negative connotations towards the city of Seattle and its people or any other postings when I wasn’t in a positive place. Those tweets by no means reflect my actual opinions or views, I was simply having “one of those days” and sincerely apologize to anyone who took those statements offensively,” tweeted Ahn.
Thomas’s extra-sensory social media skills have found a fresh bouquet of pherenomes in Pinterest. ”You can tell a lot about a person by the things they post to Pinterest,” Thomas decoded. “Their color preferences, their taste in clothes, the kind of things they spotlight –cars, boats, vacation spots.”
Linda credits several social media contemporaries in Seattle as role models and mentors in the art of social networking. Shauna Causey, who has led social media for Nordstrom and Comcast, and Jenni Hogan, a social media star for Seattle’s KIRO-TV are two at the top of the list. So is Luke Burbank, host of the TBTL (“Too Beautiful to Live”) podcast on MyNorthwest.com
Follow The News Chick https://twitter.com/#!/TheNewsChick/ or @TheNewsChick on Twitter [24x7]
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About the Author (Author Profile)
Larry Sivitz is founder, publisher and managing editor of Seattle24x7, the founder of SearchWrite Search Marketing, an SEO, PPC and Social Media Thought Leader, and an SPJ award winner for Seattle magazine.