Tornadoes take a terrible toll, physically and emotionally, more than can be measured. It is not enough to say there will be billions of dollars of damage. You can't put a price tag on the suffering, the shock, the trauma, the grief, the misery.
This week's tragedy in Oklahoma is only hinted at in photographs and videos. I've refrained from writing because I didn't think there was anything relevant or meaningful to say. Everyone has stories, everyone knows someone affected.
This is also the week that my twitter for journalists intersession class meets for two weeks, of intensive study. Much of the topic of the conversations in class with these 24 students has centered on the tornadoes this week. We've had speakers in, trying to emphasize the professional uses of the social media, but as one speaker said yesterday, my former student and media person for the Good Egg Restaurant group Sherry Guyse, @MyJRNY, the line between professional and personal blurs in social media.
One speaker, another former student, Heide Brandes, @HeideWrite, can't make it today because she's "stringing,"--freelancing for the Wall Street Journal--covering the funerals in Moore. That gig was set up in part through twitter.
Other speakers have been Mike Sherman, sports editor for The Oklahoman, @MikeSherman; Dave Rhea, managing editor and digital media guru for The Journal Record, @jdaverhea; Desiree Hill, broadcast professor, @DezHill; and Jessical Miller-Merrill, HR maven, @blogging4jobs.
Traditional journalists, like me, sometimes have trouble with the significance of twitter's 140-count messaging, but we've learned it's essential in so many ways in journalism, PR, advertising, and more in the professional communications world.
The tornadoes have added a grim illustration of practicality to the class. More on both later, but I'm asking class members to comment today, one thing they've learned about this infectious social media, twitter.