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Notebook Worthy

SANATOGA  PA – Weekend (March 28-29, 2009) jottings from a reporter’s notebook, in no particular order:

All The World’s A’Twitter

So was it a sammich, or something else?

So was it a sammich, or something else?

There’s been a great deal reported in recent weeks about Twitter, the popular Internet-based short-message service that limits communication between people to bursts of no more than 140 characters (about 20 words of 6 letters each and the spaces between them). Most tweets, as the messages are called, answer the question, “What are you doing?” Many local businesses and organizations – The Sanatoga Post, The (Pottstown PA) Mercury newspaper, Montgomery County Community College, Pottsgrove School District administrators, and others – all use Twitter accounts to let subscribing audiences, called followers, know about upcoming events, activities or stories.

There’s been so much buzz about Twitter, in fact, that one of its biggest advocates, New York-based public relations strategist Peter Shankman, last week proclaimed, “I think I liked Twitter better nine months ago when EVERY MEDIA OUTLET IN THE WORLD wasn’t doing a story on it. Just a thought.”

Due in part to the media attention, Twitter is attracting even more companies who use it in inventive ways to get themselves noticed locally.

Take, for example, the online car insurance firm, Esurance, headquartered in San Francisco. On Wednesday (March 25, 2009) it sent a tweet that announced to the world: “Pottstown, Pennsylvania is turning out for EarthHour on Saturday night. What about your town?” It’s a reference to the borough’s participation in the March 28 (2009) Earth Hour event worldwide, in which lights were turned off for one hour to conserve electricity. Any municipality that has scheduled participation in Earth Hour activities received an automated Esurance tweet.

Or look, above at right, at the automated tweet sent worldwide by national chicken sandwich-maker Chick-Fila on Monday (March 23, 2009), in which it thanked Jennifer of Pottstown PA (no last name supplied) for ordering “more great food online.” To which one can only ask, “so wha’cha have for dinner, Jen?”

Bye bye, 'Bell.

Bye bye, 'Bell.

Adios, Taco Bell

The Taco Bell restaurant at 1451 E. High St., Pottstown PA,  has closed, and the property is already being marketed by a commercial real estate broker.  A crew was on site Wednesday morning (March 25, 2009) to remove its sign. Those needing a fajita fix will now be forced to travel either to Gilbertsville PA, to the ‘Bell there on East Philadelphia Avenue; or to Royersford PA, where the ‘Bell is on South Township Line Road.

The Fire Company’s Annual Appeal

The annual fund-raising appeal from the Sanatoga Fire Company arrived at many Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township homes in Wednesday’s (March 25, 2009) mail. The fire company, which this year observes its 100th anniversary, will appreciate any contribution residents might offer. Think of it, the company rightly suggests, “as an investment” in the township’s future.

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