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All the news that’s fit to share on Facebook

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By Meaghan Downs

Today I’m going to use print to talk about social media.
Counterproductive?
Perhaps, especially since you cannot hover your computer cursor on the phrase “click here,” taking you straight to online coverage of last Friday’s industrial park fire in Lawrenceburg.  
Don’t worry. The technology is coming. I can feel it.
You probably snapped a photo — taken from your porch, from your driver’s seat or from your backyard — of the smoke plume over Lawrenceburg as it twisted lazily into the air.
I saw the smoke, too, from The Anderson News parking lot, sometimes glimpsing the barest tongue of flame from the treetops.  
Like many of you, I wasn’t on the scene.
I took phone calls and text messages, uploaded photos, wrote stories and tried to keep our readers abreast of what was going on in the industrial park as the fire burned.
Because when it looks like Lawrenceburg is burning down, our readers have the right to know — as soon as we can accurately confirm the information — what’s happening and how the incident affects their children, their job, their commute and possibly their health.
Air quality monitoring was a major concern of a few Facebook readers, and it was interesting to see the conversation unfold on social media.
And that’s what we want — conversation.
Readers digitally shared one of our industrial park fire photos roughly 127 times.
Thanks to a photo I could see the fire close up, blazing in the background behind local firefighters as they caught their breath.  
We all could see the fire from Lexington, Frankfort, Harrodsburg and Waddy.
I ventured out to Industry Road later in the afternoon. A high school student I met there said her friend, visiting the Louisville Zoo on Friday, thought she saw a haze from the direction of Lawrenceburg.
Obviously, the majority of kudos and high fives should go to the numerous firefighters, emergency management, law enforcement and other civil servants who worked for hours to quell the flames and were still available to give updates on information to the newspaper.
Social media present a challenge not only for reporters like myself, but also for officials on the scene.
We want information. We want the entire story now, and we want to be able to find it anywhere — on Facebook, Twitter, news websites.
But the instability of breaking news (and major fires) won’t always appease our desire for up-to-the-millisecond information that’s fast, and more importantly, accurate.
Be assured of one thing.  At The Anderson News, we’ll get you the information. One way or another.

Speaking of social media, we have a few new things going on The Anderson News Facebook page that our print readers may be interested in.
If you visit our Facebook page (easily searchable just by typing “The Anderson News” in the Facebook search bar), and “like” it, you can start receiving a free, four-week subscription to our award-winning print and online content.
You need to “like” The Anderson News Facebook page to do so. Once you’ve done that, and sent us a Facebook message with your name and mailing address, we’ll get you started!

In addition, we want to thank our Facebook friends by featuring them in either our Wednesday print edition or Monday’s Anderson News Extra.
If you’ve liked our Facebook page, you may be getting a Facebook message from me, asking for a photo of you or your family, and a little bit of information about yourself.
Check your Facebook message inbox to see if you’ll be featured in our next edition.

As summer quickly approaches, we’d also like to see where you can take The Anderson News.
Bring a copy of The Anderson News on your next vacation or trip, hold it up, snap a photo and send that picture to mdowns@theandersonnews.com for possible publication in a Wednesday edition of our newspaper.
I’d like to thank reader Marty Terry, who you may have seen holding up the newspaper in India in last week’s paper, for inspiring this idea for “Where in the world is The Anderson News?”
When I take my vacation this summer, I definitely plan on tucking a few copies of The Anderson News next to my shoes and jeans.