Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My first day on Twitter this week -@hbbtruth- was sometimes frustrating, but not without some unexpected surprises of a royal nature; @hbbtruth, #hbbtruth, @swedense, @KarlXVI, #sweden

A few hours in, no tweets, but that's clearly changed since then.

Last weekend marked exactly ten years since I moved back to South Florida from the Washington, D.C. area, after being up there for 15 years, and after far too much procrastination on my part and years of getting so many Invitation emails to join, incuding from some unlikely sources, my alter ego of Hallandale Beach Blog and I are now officially on Twitter @hbbtruthhttps://twitter.com/hbbtruth 


Like almost everyone else doing so, I now see more clearly than ever before, how much I was really dis-advantaging myself by not getting aboard the Twitter train, despite being a person who has been reading certain reporters/bloggers I like who were Early Adopters since they started seven years ago.
And someone who has rather consistently poured cold water on people knocking the platform, since it's not for everyone. 

That time has given me the advantage of forming certain strong ideas on how I do and do NOT want to handle things at my feed, and that will be -I think- a somewhat different role than I employ on this blog.


Most of you reading this, even you more regular readers of the blog, have no idea how many emails and notes I write and send during a typical week, and I mean ones that I really put some time and effort into.

Even the people receiving them have no idea, I suspect.

Now, though, by posting them to the blog and then tweeting them, I'll have the ability to share my discoveries, surprises or outrages with a much-larger audience whom I already know are more inclined to share that information with like-minded people they know, too.


Frankly, that was always part of my great frustration with sending out my Hallandale Beach, Broward County or South Florida-centric emails, and why not being part of Twitter ate away at me, when in saw so many people use it in ways that seemed inadequate to me.

I knew there was a finite number of people who would ever be in a position to see and react to the information, whether factual, informed speculation or soon-to-be prescient prognostications. 

That frustration also came from knowing in advance that only so many people would be better-informed or have more context on a subject of interest.

Or have specific examples of why something being said on local TV or print was actually NOT true at all because the reporter was NOT including all the relevant facts, context or history.
And when that was an important story, and I saw how poorly something important was being reported, which is everyday in the South Florida of 2013, it just made me seethe inside.
Lots of seething over the past ten years!

I know that I'm not alone in South Florida in having those feelings, but since I've always been a blogger who didn't go in for 3-4 sentence blog posts, I always had to make a determination of whether it was worth the time to publicly criticize a reporter or columnist or public official, knowing that there was only so many people who'd see that on the blog in a timely fashion.


Which is why easily 85% of the best material I've written the past ten years was in emails that got sent out to a fair number of people, including media types and govt. officials, but never saw the light of day on the blog because it was time sensitive.


The same things that no doubt frustrates many of you reading this, and you might use texting to get that out of your system. 

But I'm most assuredly NOT a texter.

So, all that being the backstory, I knew in advance that I didn't want to use my own name for this twitter account and needed to substitute something for Hallandale Beach, since it' is at once both too long and too frequently misspelled by people not living here.


In the end, after considering a few names I'd kept in cold storage for a few years, and wanting something easy to remember, I went with what I try my best to deliver on a consistent basis here on the blog that I find so lacking in the south Florida area in all sorts of place: truth! 
Irony!
I thought you'd appreciate that

This weekend when you've got a few minutes free to yourself, depending upon which country you are reading this email in, I'd like for you to spend a second to either Follow
or Följ me, or at least bookmark my Twitter feed URL on your desktop and mobile, to check back during the day and see what I've discovered or am ruminating on in between enthusiastic and discursive blog posts and emails.

Sort of like your own (free) Early Warning System in 140 character spaces.

I intend to make up for lost time and make very good use of this tool and amplify the volume and spotlight on a whole host of issues, subjects and people that I believe have been, alternately, either largely neglected, covered far too intensely in the national, state or local news media, or more commonly, being covered without enough respect for attention to facts and context, to say nothing of a lack of adequate historical perspective.

Unless something dramatic happens in the next few days, I will be using the next few days trying to get more comfortable doing this and tweeting some recent blog posts of mine, to help them get a little more attention that I think they deserve and advance some needed dialogue, but  once I'm more comfortable doing this, and am NOT so overly concerned about making a mistake, I expect that I'll be doing mostly new content for people to know, share and comment upon if they so choose.

-----


Naturally, after I wrote the above in an email and sent it out, I had problems with Twitter.


Perhaps because more vetting at a higher level of authority was necessary to let me into this exclusive group of people, but i had all sorts of problems my first 24 hours on Twitter.


For the better part of a morning and afternoon, I was largely frozen in a sort of Twitter 
version of Dante's Gates of Hell, in-between not being able to log-off or log-on, and being afraid to turn the computer off because I was concerned that maybe there were some steps I'd accidently missed somehow.

Everywhere I went to try to resolve it on the Twitter website were ominous warnings that I was in an area that I was Not Authorized.
It was like being at Reagan National Airport trying to find someone to man the counter to file a missing luggage incident report.
As I'd know!

Obviously, I hope the Twitter situation is resolved for good.

I signed up for TweetDeck for organizing purposes but if anyone has recently had any bad experiences with them and/or can recommend something better for someone like me, who anticipates following about 225 fairly-heavy Twitter users -largely the same folks I've been reading and following all along for years based on a list I created when I started the blog's first blogroll and it got too large- I'd appreciate hearing about it.

It wasn't a complete waste of time, though, since during those five-six hours, I was able to discover something interesting on the Twitter list of Followers of Sweden.se, the terrific Swedish government website whose awesome photos and Svenska factoids I've used for many years on my blog and emails to great effect, like this one below.




(Above, in a word, for me, Heavenly! Djurgården is the island located a bit east of the Gamla Stan (Old Town) area of Stockholm and the downtown Stockholm business district, where the iconic Grona Lund amusement park is located as well as the Vasa Museum and this year's new entry, the ABBA Museum that I wrote about here on the blog on May 7th, it's opening day:

A" is for Awesome and ABBA as the new ABBA Museum in Stockholm officially opens this afternoon. Monday night's gala premiere brought Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn together, cheered on by a select group of invitees from across Swedish society and the music industry, who are, in the end, just fans of the band like everyone else, and very excited that this amazing museum is FINALLY a reality; #abba, #AbbaMuseum, #ThankYouForTheMusic, @stockholm, @sweden

Djurgården is also home to the amazing Skansen open-air museum where 'Allsång på Skansen' is televised LIVE every Tuesday night during the summer on SVT, and, of course, the source of many of the music videos I've shared on the blog and individually with some of you, including most recently, the very-talented Miriam Bryant.)

Well, it turns out that on that list of Followers, at least then yours truly was located 
directly below....Carl XVI Gustaf.
The king.


Cool!  
From the Twitter Gates of Hell, Hallandale Beach campus, to the Royal Palace in 
Stockholm in just over 5 hours.
I love happy endings!

And now i'm following the king on Twitter, too. :)

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