All Gaga over tweeting

By John Owen | May 10, 2012

At the time I was sports editor of the newspaper,  but was given the assignment of  helping research history for a 100th Anniversary edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

This involved spending mind-boggling, eye-straining hours in front of a microfilm machine in the newspaper library.

Late one afternoon I spotted a four-inch article at the bottom of an inside page of an issue printed in late June of 1876.

It involved sporting events like archery, marksmanship and long distance running.

It reported unsubstantiated rumors of a battle between the Seventh Cavalry under George Armstrong Custer and a large assembly of  Cheyenne and Sioux in  the Montana territory.

The P-I was a weekly newspaper in 1876 and so it was not until the next edition seven days later when a banner headline on page 1 announced that a congressional inquiry was demanded to assess blame for what was described as a massacre at the Little Big Horn.

It was an incredible story rediscovered at some cost to my vision. By the time the 100th edition newspaper was finally published I was wearing bifocals.

In June of 2012 anybody involved in historical research could tickle the keyboard of a home computer and be rewarded with a thousand-word summary of  Custer's Last Stand, courtesy of a historian known as Google.

These days I spend a lot of time with Google.  But I have been informed that computer science has now evolved past such search engines.

The hot word today is "communication"  as in "Facebook" and "Twitter."

OK, I gave it a try, listing my name, interests and associates.  In return I received dispatches informing me that "Art really likes Dan's new job" . . . or "Jan has some good news."

Facebook was obviously trying to lure me into the fold, but after a month I realized I had been enriched with only one specific item of interest.

I learned that a former journalistic associate living in Richmond Highlands had replaced her front driveway.

That's not quite as interesting as the latest casualty count from the Little Big Horn.

So I decided I would try the other social site with the dubious name of Twitter.

Awaiting me at this site were "Timely Messages from Lady Gaga" and dozens of dispatches from somebody named Freddy Amazon informing me among other things that "Weed isn't a drug it's a plant, therefore I'm not a drug dealer I'm a florist."

I was also invited to join half a hundred other Twitters in informing the world "why I hate Monday."

I doubt if Twitter was any more informative on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

So I returned to Facebook lured by recently dispatched cute-baby photos from friends and associates.  However, my lack of expertise limits my participation.

I've got a great cute-baby photo of a close relative but I don't know how to send it to Facebook.   And I refuse to look at anybody else's cute baby if I can't retaliate with my own cute-baby photo.

You may not understand.  But I'll bet Lady Gaga does.

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