Tag Archives: Twitter


  • Wednesday, July 13
  • 5-8 p.m.
  • Old Car Heaven, 115 35th St. S., Avondale
  • Cash bar
  • Free!
  • RSVP: alsocme.com
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Birmingham mayor William Bell will address the state of technology in the city at the Alabama Social Media Association’s first ever Tech Tweetup. The July 13 event, which is free and open to the public, will also feature networking and a light dinner.

“ALsocme is proud to partner with the City of Birmingham, among others,” says Kristen R. Heptinstall, ALscome executive director. “And we’re thrilled Mayor Bell will be sharing the latest developments on Birmingham’s advances as a digital leader.”

The Tech Tweetup will be held July 13 at Old Car Heaven, 115 35th St. S., Avondale. Networking will be held from 5 to 6 p.m., with the mayor’s address from 6 to 6:30, followed by more networking until 8 p.m.

It is sponsored by My Green Birmingham (mygreenbirmingham.com), the city’s only green living site. A light dinner will be provided by catering sponsor Ted’s Restaurant (tedsbirmingham.com), a family-owned Greek meat-and-three restaurant and caterer on Southside. Cash bar will be available.

The Tweetup will also feature representatives from ALsocme’s 17 partner organizations.

Tickets are free, but attendees must register by visiting alsocme.com.

The Alabama Social Media Association (ALsocme), is an independent, grassroots nonprofit group, open to anyone who wishes to share ideas or advance their knowledge of social media and how it is used by businesses, organizations, and consumers. Its mission is education: empowering people with social media tools and knowledge to help them meet professional and personal goals.

For more information, visit alsocme.com or email alsocme@gmail.com.

ALsocme executive director Kristen R. Heptinstall is available for interviews to discuss Birmingham’s role as a leader in technology. To arrange an interview or to set up event coverage, please contact Erin Street at e.shawstreet@gmail.com or (205) 249-0750.

EXCLUSIVE: Editor-in-chief Ken Booth leaves AL.com

The editor-in-chief at the state’s biggest Web site has gone. Ken Booth left AL.com after 10 years, announcing his departure via Twitter:

twitter - kenbooth
“Today I left al.com after a great 10 years and am striking out in a new direction. All is well and I’ll share more about my plans soon.”

Booth oversaw editorial coverage and managed production and upkeep of the site. He previously worked as online editor for OrlandoSentinel.com. When interviewed by e-mail, he added:

“I’m leaving to pursue some other online business opportunities. My 10 years with al.com and Advance Internet has been a rewarding experience and I’ll certainly miss working with the people there. I will not miss my long commute from Madison to Birmingham.

“My immediate plans are to join an associate to help him grow an editorial and e-commerce Web site. I’ll be prepared to share more about that soon.”

We asked AL.com president and chief executive officer Cindy Martin for a comment, but have not heard back from her. No word as to if or how the position will be filled. According to a company insider, the departure was sudden and no additional information was given to staff.

Update Dec. 9: Robert Sims, Internet editor at the Birmingham News, will join AL.com as director of content. This position will replace editor-in-chief.

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In Mobile, Twitter + TV + billboard = suspension

Twitter billboard for Local 15 in Mobile

Mobile NBC affiliate Local 15 (WPMI) has tweeted its way into trouble. A billboard showing off the station’s live headlines from its Twitter account provided this unfortunate juxtaposition, shown above in this photo captured by a driver.

The headline, “3 Accused of Gang Rape in Monroeville,” sits next to the smiling trio of anchors.

The station’s general manager and news director were suspended for a week over the incident.

Even more shocking? The billboard doesn’t actually show the station’s Twitter account name! It’s @LOCAL15NEWS, by the way.

Should the station have handed out suspensions over the incident? Will this ultimately hurt the news department’s credibility?

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Birmingham reporters cover Langford trial with Twitter


Trial coverage to a big step forward in October, thanks to a federal judge and tech-savvy reporters. During the corruption trial of then Birmingham mayor Larry Langford, Twitter became a primary source of live updates throughout the eight days in session.

Federal law prohibits broadcasting from within the courtroom. And a sign just outside the courtroom instructs that cell phones must be turned off. But Judge Scott Coogler allowed members of the media to use their phones to send updates to their Twitter accounts.

Followers were able to read live accounts of testimony, arguments and the mechanics of a high-profile trial from their computers and phones. It’s likely the first time a major trial received this level of scrutiny.

Coogler told Fox 6:

“The difference is Twitter is like a reporter taking notes, if you will, instead of having to take the notes back to their office, they’re writing them on a device which then goes out.

“It’s their own interpretation of what’s going on in the proceeding, and when I looked at it, it seemed pretty clear to me.”

During the trial, Coogler instructed jurors to isolate themselves from media coverage, but also included blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other sources of information. But he also took time to praise reporters for handling the coverage with decorum in and out of the courtroom.

Trial Twitterers included:

It’s clear that for citizens and for reporters, Twitter has changed how trial news is reported and consumed.

For more, see the story and video from Fox 6.

How would you grade the media’s coverage of the Langford trial? Did you follow along on Twitter? Leave a comment at the beep. Beep.

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CBS 42 owner clears bankruptcy

cbs42-logoNew Vision Television, owner of CBS 42 (WIAT) in Birmingham, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month. We first reported the bankruptcy in July.

The company, based in Atlanta and Los Angeles, owns 14 stations nationwide.

“New Vision now has one of the strongest balance sheets in our sector,” Jason Elkin, CEO and founder of New Vision, said in a statement. “Being debt-free will enable us to invest in our people, our product and complementary acquisitions to drive New Vision forward, while our competitors continue to focus on daily liquidity and covenant compliance.”

New Vision made no job or benefit cuts linked to the reorganization, the company said.

Other local TV notes:

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Possible SPJ workshop on social media and journalists

A note from Jenn Rowell, president of the Alabama chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists:

Save the date for our next program, June 24 and/or June 25.

We’re going to focus on Twitter, social media and how journalists can use those tools to enhance coverage and generate Web traffic. Some of us use it, some of us don’t, so let’s discuss pros and cons, best practices, neat tricks, how-tos and lingo. (See “The Twitter Explosion” from the American Journalism Review.)

Here are possible plans:

  • Host one in Prattville, since it’s sort of (although not really) a halfway point for Montgomery and Birmingham folks.
  • Or host one in Montgomery and one in Birmingham (like we’ve done on several occasions).

If y’all could weigh in on what you would prefer and if any of you use Twitter and social media on a regular basis and would like to help facilitate discussion, let me know at AlabamaPro.SPJ[at]gmail.com. I have a few in mind, but am always looking for fresh faces!