Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun Fourth harnesses the awesome power of new media!

Imagine yourself, if you will, after a long day at the Fun Fourth Festival. You've seen some great bands, bought some one-of-a-kind crafts from some of our many vendors, gorged yourself on funnel cake*, and you'd like nothing more than to just go home, sit back and relax. But wait! The day isn't over yet! Because you can't truly say you've celebrated the Fourth of July in Greensboro unless you've watched the fireworks at Grimsley High School's football stadium.



Now, you have two options: You can go to the stadium and enjoy the ceremonies and the concert featuring the wonderful Philharmonia of Greensboro, or, like so many people do, you can enjoy the fireworks from the surrounding areas, like Lake Daniel Park. One year, when I was living off of Friendly Avenue, near Wesley Long Hospital, I could see the fireworks from the front yard of my apartment. It was fantastic.

There's a catch about watching the fireworks outside of the stadium, though: what to do if it looks like it's going to rain, or it actually does. Because our events are almost always outside, we're often subject to the will of the capricious weather gods, and sometimes we have to make a last minute call about whether we wait for the rain to pass, or postpone the fireworks until the next night. You should see us sometimes, all hunched over our cell phones, looking at various radar maps and weather reports - it's actually quite comical.

Anyway, if we do have a change of plans due to weather, if you're at Grimsley, you'll hear the announcement about what we're going to do. But what if you're sitting by the side of the road or in a park? Should you stay or should you go? Well, thanks to the internet and cell phones and new media, there's a fast and easy way to find out what's going on: you can follow Grassroots on Twitter. And you don't even need to haul around a computer to get updates: you can have them sent directly to your phone. Whenever there's an event, we'll be Twittering (Twitting? Tweeting? Don't ask me, I still haven't figured out the best way to say it) away with updates and information, and Fun Fourth is certainly no exception.

Some of you may be asking "Twitter? What is that?" Or "you mean the site whose claim to fame is that it lets you tell people every single minute, mundane detail of your life?" Yes, that Twitter. Don't worry, we're not going to bore you to tears with stuff you don't really want to hear about. We'll tweet (as they say) what's necessary and informative, to make sure you have a fantastic time at Fun Fourth.

*In case you were wondering: yes, I do have a one-track mind.

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