MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's a conversation happening somewhere right now, possibly in your own home. Someone a little older is speaking with someone a little younger about Facebook and Twitter. So what are these internet hot spots all about, anyway? And why should we all sign up?
WSFA 12 News anchor Kim Hendrix has kept the social networking sites at arms' length, until now.
She's started talking to a younger, tech-savvy coworker about why the world is becoming "Nothing but Net."
Josh Johnson: He's a meteorologist. He's in his mid-20's and he's a big user of social sites like Facebook and Twitter. And he has an Apple iPhone so he can tweet on the go!
Then, there's Kim Hendrix. She's a news anchor. She's not on Facebook or Twitter. She's not in her twenties and there's no iPhone in her purse.
Josh's iPhone has cool applications on it, like a sound-simulating light saber that would scare anyone away from the Dark Side. That didn't really impress Kim, however, who says her phone has all she really needs: a picture and the current time.
This is going to get interesting.
If you know Josh beyond the 7-day forecast you'll know that he's a joker. "There are none," he responds when Kim asks for the benefits of Facebook and Twitter. With a laugh he goes on to explain, "Facebook has been called the most efficient time-waster in the history of mankind."
Kim has a basic understanding of Facebook from listening to all the chatter in the newsroom, but still has questions. (She is a journalist after all and wouldn't be doing her job if she didn't.) "What is 'status'?" she asked.
Josh: "It's basically what you're up to." Ever the Rand McNally, his example is micro-targeted. "Kim Hendrix is eating barbeque at Byron's in Auburn."
Kim: "This is high-tech scrap booking!"
While Josh was explaining Facebook to Kim, he decided to pull up his own personal profile to show her how it's laid out. (By the way, he loves camping and his profile picture looks particularly goofy as he's poking his balding head out of a big tent.) Then Kim learns of a Facebook group dedicated solely to getting her to join the social site. Guess who started that?
Twitter, a site where you have approximately 200 characters to say, or "tweet", anything that's on your mind, is gaining in popularity each day. Everyone whom Kim has talked with, however, says they don't understand it.
For Josh and the rest of the WSFA 12 weather team it's like "a two way street of communication." Viewers can 'follow' the weather team and respond instantly with accurate weather data in their area when severe weather appears.
Many folks have tried to explain Twitter. Some say it's good for updates, marketing, conversation or maybe just your ego, but it appears Twitter is better suited for corporations or government entities. Governor Bob Riley's office and numerous local mayors use it to galvanize their voter base on important issues, for example.
As for Kim Hendrix, kicking and screaming she signed onto Facebook, finally.