Off the Dial

USA Today’s Take on Twitter

A couple of weeks ago, USA Today asked a simple question – What does Twitter mean to you? My response led to a phone call from writer Marco della Cava and a fun conversation about social media.  This week, his story ran on the front page(!) and I've received email and phone calls from friends around the country. Most want to know more about what I said in the article – why Twitter is so appealing.

Twitterusatoday In my initial email to Marco, I wrote: "For me, Twitter is a way to connect with people I haven't met, but with whom I have much in common (as opposed to Facebook, which is a way to reconnect with people I already know)." 

That's the key to Twitter. If you're actively engaged on it, if it appeals to you, chances are you have an awful lot in common with the other people there. There's a wonderful opportunity to connect over common interests and to start some great conversations. If you just post every once in a while and don't want to talk to anyone, chances are Twitter won't hold your interest for very long.

Here's what della Cava wrote:

Stacey Simms, 38, a radio talk show host in Charlotte, initially dismissed Twitter as "just one more thing to check." But she was hooked after getting a live analysis of a President Obama speech from a network television reporter tweeting from the scene.

"There are negatives, for sure," she says. "You have to manage your Twitter time or it can overwhelm you. And there is often profanity and negativity, but you can just stop following people who are a waste of time."

Twitter also has provided Simms great solace, connecting her with other parents of children with type 1 diabetes.

"It's been incredibly rewarding to hear about other people's experiences," she says. "Humor, information, emotion, and all in 140 characters."

Is Twitter a good place for business? Not really. At least not yet.  Is it reliable for information? I say yes, for breaking news; if you follow reputable sources you won't get burned.

Are you on Twitter? If so, let me know what you think. If not, check it out – drop me a line if I can help you get started. Or just click on the blue Twitter "T" over on the left hand side of this page and follow along!


A Night at the Beach (Bash)

Always fun to find meet new people and find new places around town.  We got to do both Saturday night.

For the last couple of weeks, the folks at Best of North have been asking their on line community to vote on the best beach in the state. What better way to announce the winner than at a big beach bash?  They made it a benefit for JDRF. Near and dear to my heart, so of course we had to stop by.  Bestofnc

The party was at Aloft Ballantyne– a new Starwood hotel down Ballantyne Commons Parkway.  Hadn't been there before – it's very cool.  Ratcliffe on the Green prepared the wonderful bbq everyone enjoyed and all the food, drink and raffle money went to the charity.


That's me and the JDRF ladies: Lynne Foreman, Melissa Harrison & Melissa's mom.  I'm so grateful for their support and hard work. Melissa's expecting twins but she still ran around making sure we had everything we needed.

Events like this one are called "third party;" JDRF doesn't organize them but does benefit from them. Lynne & Melissa help out with third party events so feel free to contact them with all your great ideas for JDRF!

We sold and raffled off copies of my book as well. Ratcliffe did contribute some wonderful recipes, but now I wish I had the barbecue in there as well!

I almost forgot - the winner of best beach in North Carolina?  Wrightsville Beach. Second place was a tie between Emerald Isle and Ocean Isle.  Don't agree? Want to chime in?  Go join the conversation at Best of North Carolina.

Welcome to the (Utica) Club

My husband, Slade, has been feeling nostalgic – I'm not sure why, but that's the only reason I can think of for why he's been emailing me old Schultz & Dooley commercials. 


If you're not from Central New York, those names may not mean anything to you, but boy, were they big once upon a time.  Schultz & Dooley are two talking beer steins who were the centerpiece of Utica Club's ad campaign from 1959 to 1964.  You can read more about the ads here – turns out Jonathan Winters voiced all the commercials!

My husband, Slade, is from Utica, NY and it is a point of pride for him that our restaurant, Rotelli, has Utica Club as the house beer. It's Slade's birthday tomorrow, so enjoy! 

Hoo boy. They don't make 'em like that anymore!!


Former Mayor Switches Gears

Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory popped back onto the scene when the NASCAR Hall of Fame opened last week and he bought the first ticket.  But he ran away with a charity event Saturday night after a bike ride – in a ballroom. 


Yep, that's hizzoner at the Ballantyne Hotel, tooling around on a five speed.  (All pictures courtesy of the wonderful Ron Deshaies, Treasured Events of Charlotte)

It was the annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man & Woman of the Year.  Part of the evening honored Lindsay and Landon, two tough little 4-year-olds. The children are adorable and it's hard to think about what they and their families must go through. This evening is a celebration, however, and the children each received gifts, including a bike for Landon. 

Right after that, McCrory spoke, giving a heartfelt speech about losing his father to lymphoma the week after McCrory won the Mayor's seat in 1994.  A picture of his father behind the mayor's desk stayed in the office for the 14 years McCrory did, and that picture was the last item he removed.

But as McCrory spoke – Zoom! - Landon zipped across the dance floor on his bike. A typical 4-year-old, he just wanted to have fun. He wasn't about to wait to ride that shiny new bike.


Of course, McCrory handled it beautifully, and incorporated the little boy into his remarks. A little while later, though, he saw his chance to get even.  Included in the live auction? Another bike!  McCrory took it for a spin all over the ballroom.  Not to be outdone, Landon got back on his bike and the two of them rode around in tandem.

No politics, no campaign.  Just a fun moment for an inspiring little boy, his family and a bunch of people trying to do some good.