Crackberry Makes Me Twitter!

(11/6/08) - It's not a drug, but can be addicting!

If you haven't heard, people who are addicted to their BlackBerry phones are called "Crackberrys".  There's even a website Crackberry.com where BlackBerry owners can go to load up their phone with all kinds of cool apps (short for "applications" or software that allows you to perform multiple functions on your phone), ringtones, wallpapers and themes.  Yes, today's mobile phones - such as the BlackBerry and iPhone - are like carrying your desktop PC with you wherever you go.  Having a cell phone is okay, but if you really want to stay connected to all that's going on, you really should consider moving up to the phones that allow you fast internet connection, text messaging, e-mail and even GPS navigation.  Some of the newer model phones will also let you download tons of music, photos, videos, games, movies and TV shows.

You may have noticed that we have embraced mobile technology at WBKO by heavily promoting all of our products through this rich medium.  It started over 10 years ago when we first introduced our first station website.  I remember in one of our early department head meetings discussing this new "world wide web" and reporting only about 30 people in Bowling Green having access.  Today, just about everyone is hooked up at home or the office.  But now it's about taking the the internet highway with you and making it work for you.  You now have the choice to add the content you want and in many cases manipulate it to enhance your life.

We're always promoting WBKO.com all the time...and thanks to you, you've made it the #1 web destination for news, weather, sports and entertainment in South Central Kentucky.  But there's tons of rich content we make available to you that you may have overlooked.  Did you know we have an RSS feed?  For those that don't know, RSS stands for "real simple syndication".  What it does is send segments of our website to an aggregate reader.  An aggregate reader pulls the data and allows you to move the content you want to pop up on your web-enabled phone, BlackBerry or iPhone.  In other words, it's like subscribing to the content on our website and it automatically updates to your device.  We have two readers on our RSS site...My Yahoo and My MSN.  However, there are many more feeders out there which have gained enormous popularity that you can download.

One of my favorite new apps that has an excellent RSS feeder is called Viigo which I discovered on the Crackberry.com website.  It allows you to customize the RSS feeds you want updated on a daily basis and you can seperate each feed into manageable categories such as "News", "Entertainment", "Sports", "Games", etc.

Another app I want you to check out is called Twitter.  It's akin to Facebook and MySpace in that it has become a wildy popular social site for conversation.  However, Twitter allows users to send quick, short messages (like chat) in answer to the question "what are you doing?"  Now your first response might be "none of your business" but you get to choose who you talk to and when to stop "twittering".  I've started using it to put out quick notes about the day at work, who's going to be on Midday and if I'm doing something interesting I think our viewers might want to know about.  I've even started sending a quick forecast out around 4 am in the morning on Twitter before I post it on our website. 

My personal Twitter page and username is called callensky1.  Click the link to go there if you want to check it out..and if you want to send me a quick note or "follow" what I post on a regular basis, the sign up for Twitter is quick and easy and you can then "follow" me.  I know it sort of sounds creepy but it's all done at my discretion.  It's like I am allowing you in on a little inside information that you don't get on TV or our website.  The even cooler thing about Twitter is that I have married this site with my BlackBerry with an app called TwitterBerry.  Now I can update my Twitter page from anywhere!  If you love weather or just want to send me a quick message at anytime, that's what Twitter is for.  So give it a try and send me a message when you get a chance.

Probably the best new technology we have to offer is located at WBKOtogo.com.  This is not our regular website...but one that has been condensed for faster loading on your PC and also serves as our web content for mobile devices.  If you've never tried it, you should give it a whirl.  We've even added our very popular Polar Report there so you can get school closings on your mobile device as long as you have an internet connection.  There are also links to the latest local news headlines, video on demand, sports scores, movie listings, TV schedules, lottery results and more.  One of the neatest things on our "To Go" web page is the Flight Tracker.  With this incredible tool, you can actually track flights across the country just by putting in the flight number or carrier and the flight's departure and arrival locations.  I've used it and found it comes within two minutes of accurately pinpointing a flight's arrival time.  How cool is that?

Of course, the best part of WBKOtogo.com is the weather content.  Once you're in there, you can navigate through animated radar screens, current conditions, 7-day forecasts (just like you see in our TV weather segments) and First Alert Doppler Radar images.  Think about it like this...the very same radar we show on TV you can now see on your mobile device!  It's like having your own Doppler radar on your web-enabled phone.

And there's more to come!  Every day, we're looking for new content to add to our ever-growing suite of rich media content for you to use.  What I've brought you today is only the beginning.  Many thanks to the folks at Insurance Specialists of Bowling Green for sponsoring our WBKOtogo.com content and for embracing this new technology as enthusiastically as we have.

Check all these things out when you have the time and let me know what you think!

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