“Have I got news for you.”
Ever heard that phrase? Most of us either have said that, heard it, or done both during our lives. There’s always something we think is important enough to share with others and they with us.
A few years ago, when we established our “know it” communities we offered readers a chance to share news releases, alerts, recognitions and other information (including photos) by sending their items by email to any or all of the five sites:
Many groups and individuals have participated. You can see what they are sending by going to the reader-submitted area (upper right) of each community:
(Note: You can see all of them by going to: http://knowit.newsok.com/)
The instructions also advise that editors at The Oklahoman will consider items submitted for publication in the newspaper. That has happened.
But now, that has been enhanced by using a page, labeled News From You, each Saturday in the Local/State section of the newspaper.
We even include posted blog material.
So how can you get your information to us for consideration?
You can send to the communities, as mentioned above, by following the directions for emailing.
Or, you can send email to Metro reporters Vallery Brown (email@example.com), Matt Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jane Glenn Cannon in Norman (email@example.com), or Diana Baldwin in Edmond (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It’s your news to share and be shared.
You don’t have to be a world traveler to have an enjoyable time for rest and relaxation. And there are plenty of spots right here in Oklahoma that can be entertaining and inexpensive.
Visit http://knowit.newsok.com/travel-tips and wimgo.com to learn what our state has to offer. For tourism purposes, the state has six regions: Frontier Country, Great Plains Country, Green Country, Kiamichi Country, Lake & Trail Country and Red Carpet Country. Each has its unique set of possibilities.
There are some wonderful museums throughout the state. Each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties has museums and/or historic sites that present the past, present and future.
See great worship sites, the large military installations and more.
There are major art exhibits, outstanding historical displays, noteworthy educational sites and lots of musical entertainment possibilities. You can, in a matter of hours, take a trip through time, from the age of dinosaurs to space travel and beyond.
There are top-notch sports venues, great places to get outdoors, as well as Oklahoma’s lakes and streams. Whether it be through the small towns or the large cities, you can see how the residents of our state make their livings and what their contributions are to the state, the nation and the world.
From artwork to natural beauty, Oklahoma has plenty to see. So plan a trip or two, a long weekend, or maybe your next lengthy vacation here in our state.
I’d like to say that in almost 40 years in this business, I’ve heard it all. But I can’t. They just keep coming.
I’ve quoted many times longtime columnist and former Managing Editor Frank Boggs, who said, “The readers always write.” To me, it’s the journalist’s version of “The customer’s always right.” You’re gonna hear from them.
It may not be a column or an editorial they disgreed with. But it doesn’t have to be a commentary on a story or photo they saw in the newspaper or on line. It might be something they saw or heard somewhere and just wanted to make a comment on it.
It can be entertaining, to say the least.
Here are some samples:
* * * * *
“Do we still have people on the moon? I saw a show about all that stuff we left up there and I wondered if the United States still had someone up there watching over it.”
I answered him best I could that I didn’t know of anyone still on the moon, and that the “stuff” we left up there from previous space missions was mostly discarded material no longer used or working.
* * * * *
There have been a few space-related “contacts.” Mostly, late-night phone calls involving unidentified flying objects.
“Has anyone else reported seeing that round thing with the blinking lights flying over the water plant last night?”
“It was big. It just kinda sat up there a while. I just wondered if anyone else saw it.”
He hung up right after saying he would call the local Air Force base and ask if it “showed up on their radar.”
Oh, well. The Air Force knows full well how to handle calls about UFOs, blinking lights and aliens.
* * * * *
“Can you get a ticket for driving a riding lawn mower when you’re drunk?”
If you’re driving it on a public street, it’s possible. The offense? It depends upon where and how you were driving.
* * * * *
“My sister and I were wondering … how do you make mud?”
Well, you get the necessary ingredients, such as dirt and water, and mix them together.
You can shape the mix and use it for building, but you need to do so before it hardens.
* * * * *
“Can you drown by drinking from a garden hose?”
Yes. It doesn’t take a lot of water to cause a drowning. A couple of inches can do it.
Please don’t try that at home.
* * * * *
And there’s always someone who wants to talk politics. So you get a call like this.
“Who’s going to be the next president?”
Simple. The one who gets the most votes … from the electoral college.
* * * * *
There are some unusual people out there, thinking unusual thoughts. See examples in http://knowit.newsok.com/unsual-weird-oklahoma and checkign the state, nation and world categories.
Oklahoma has a lot to offer those who want to see the sights, learn about history, enjoy the outdoors, meet its people, or experience its natural wonders.
You can play on its sand dunes, see buffalo and other animals roaming the prairie, tour magnificent buildings and mansions, enjoy lakes and rivers, camp in scenic locations, watch top college and professional sports, listen to musical performances of most any variety, visit highly acclaimed museums that feature everything from prehistoric artifacts to modern art and everything in between.
Maybe you want to look over the possibilities before planning a road trip to any of Oklahoma’s six “countries.” Look over the material for each, then set your sights.
It’s all available to you, right at your fingertips in http://knowit.newsok.com/travel-tips.
You’ll find that the state has distinctively different offerings in each area, from the history to the recreational aspects to the chief resources.
Some features are underground. Others are visible for miles.
Oklahoma’s lakes alone draw large numbers of visitors each year. But they are only part of what the state offers.
Take a look, then take a trip. It’s all here for you.
There’s more to our “know it” communities than news about Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon, and there’s an open invitation to you to become part of it.
Each of these communities has other cities and towns nearby. Sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish where one ends and another begins, and.or there is overlap. We set up the online communities to include them.
“Why didn’t you just use north, south, east and west?” a reader once asked me.
We needed a focal point, a center for each coverage area. Problem was, we still had some equally (or nearly as) large cities close enough in some areas that it almost required a double-emphasis name. For instance, Edmond and Guthrie; Midwest City and Del City; Norman and Moore; or Yukon and Mustang.
There also are those who believe that Bricktown is almost a city within itself … and within Oklahoma City.
So why didn’t we put together separate “know it” communities for each of them? For now, it’s more manageable, more functional to do it this way. Will that change in the future? We’ll see. Just about anything is possible.
We do have a “play position,” or key story on the page for each community. That allows us to emphasize a story from any of the cities and towns in that area. You might have a big event occurring in Guthrie or Piedmont in the lead position in “know it: Edmond.” Or, it might be a critical city council meeting in Moore that leads “know it: Norman.” The top story for “know it: Yukon” might be something big in Mustang.
You see how it works.
But there’s more. You can contribute to the coverage for your area.
If you’re looking for a way to get the news out about an upcoming event, deliver a word of praise, or perhaps an update or follow-up is needed to those in your community. Here’s a possibility for you. Our “know it” geographical communities can help.
Need some help getting the word out about your upcoming event? Maybe you want to say “thanks” to an individual or group. Or, it could be that you need to send an update or reminder about a community happening.
Our “know it” geographical communities can help.
Readers can use Twitter feeds to get their messages out in the five “know it” online communities — Edmond, Mid-Del, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon. These include the surrounding area for each city.
Each community has a specific hashtag, similar to other web tags, that helps add personal messages, or “tweets,” to a category. Hashtags have the “hash” or “pound” sign preceding them.
The specific hashtags for the “know it” communities are:
- Edmond area — #knowedmond
- Mid-Del area — #knowmwc
- Norman area — #knownorman
- Oklahoma City area — #knowokc
- Yukon area — #knowyukon
The tags also can be added to other hash tags, such as #NewsOK or #okpreps.
Each “know it” community features a special area titled “NEWS SUBMITTED BY YOU,” where information such as news releases can be added.
To use that area, the reader creates an e-mail with a document or photo attached, then sends it to the address for the particular community:
Here are some tips for using this feature:
- Add the e-mail address to your list of those who normally receive your news. (The other e-mail addresses will not appear online.)
- Send your information and/or photos as a SINGLE ATTACHMENT to your e-mail. (PLEASE NOTE: Text from the e-mail will not appear online. An attachment may be a WORD document [.doc], a text file [.txt], a portable document [.pdf], or a jpeg picture [.jpg].)
- The subject line will be your headline, so be specific about what is most important that you want to emphasize. Example: Cross Timbers Elementary plans open house on Tuesday.
- Avoid punctuation and ALL CAPS in your subject line, but do capitalize the first letter of the first word and all formal titles.
- Remember to tell others about this service!
All sites can be accessed by going to http://knowit.newsok.com.
Editors and reporters consider information submitted for possible use in other sections.
Each community link is a “window” into that city and area, its offerings, its people. These are living, growing communities online, just as they are in real life. We continuously look for new information to add to them, in addition to the items that flow there from The Oklahoman reports.
The design is such that readers can glean a wealth of information about their community, quickly and efficiently, by simply clicking on the topic, ranging from stories to facts and figures on people, services and locations.
It’s all here for you.
Another former University of Oklahoma star athlete has a place in our “know it” lineup: Blake Griffin.
The former OU basketball standout is a rising star with the Los Angeles Clippers. You can find information on Griffin and his team by going to “know it: Blake Griffin.”
Griffin joins former Heisman Trophy winner and OU quarterback Sam Bradford (“know it: Sam Bradford”), now with the St. Louis Rams in the NFL, on the topics list. Also featured, of course, is former Texas Longhorn and current Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant (“know it: Kevin Durant.”).
In addition to Griffin’s information, there have been several other topics getting attention recently.
Check out Bryan Painter’s package on surviving Oklahoma’s violent storms in “know it: Severe weather.”
Get the latest on people, events and services in our five “know it” communities — Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon, and their surrounding areas.
Find out what is being done and by whom in helping those less fortunate in “know it: Charity” and “know it: Homeless.”
There are new recommendations on how to eat better and exercise in “know it: Fitness & nutrition.”
Learn about a new local golf program in “know it: Golf.”
There are other additions to “know it: Military,” “know it: Buying a car,” “know it: Careers” and “know it: Money.”
These are just some of the areas that have significant additions from the past few days. In all, there are 34 topics to choose from and all have stories, photos, videos and links to useful resources.