By Jamie Butow
It started out innocently enough, just me spouting off about the good and the bad commercials during the Super Bowl. And then I got a few replies and retweets as I lamented the highly sexual nature of one particular commercial ... as my young son sat there and then asked me what it was about.
When I opened up the topic of Madonna's halftime show on The Bakersfield Californian's Facebook page, everyone seemed to have something to say about their all-time favorite Super Bowl halftime show.
Carlos Flores posted, "U2 in 2002. But Madonna performing and not breaking her at her age -- it's impressive."
A week later I sat down to watch the Grammy Awards in time to see an amazing live performance by the Foo Fighters. I asked Bakersfield Californian fans "Are you watching the Grammy's? Like this post if you're a Foo Fighters fan!"
By the reaction we got, I'm saying there are a lot of Foo Fighter fans in Bakersfield. The evening went on and we chatted and tweeted about The Beach Boys, Nicki Minaj and Adele cleaning up that night.
It was only natural to be online for the Oscars as well. We never know what sort of reaction we'll get when we post questions. The most-commented topics on Bakersfield.com can get zero reaction on Facebook, and vice versa, but it is obvious you like to talk about things other than what's happening in the news.
On Sunday evening, I made myself comfy in my living room, turned on the Oscar telecast and logged into Facebook. Don't start rolling your eyes and saying, "Tough job" just yet. For four hours I watched TV, scanned Twitter hashtags, read entertainment blogs, posted questions and results, answered your questions, and tried to make sure I spelled everything right online (I only had one error, woo hoo! )
By the time Oscar host Billy Crystal signed off, I was exhausted and had muscle cramps from sitting on my couch non-stop. But I think it was worth it.
With more than 100 likes and 70 comments on two dozen Oscar-related posts, we can see the community was engaged in this topic.
Since weekends are normally slow on social media sites -- we don't see this as a bad thing; we want you to be out and about and not spending all your time online -- it was great to see this level of engagement the past several Sunday nights.
In looking at the interaction graphs, we see sharp surges the past three Sundays, including Feb. 19 when we asked a few fun questions, including one on NBA sensation Jeremy Lin. It will take a few days to get all the results from our Oscar posts, but I expect the numbers to be strong.
What do you think? Are these all topics you enjoy posting about? Or would you rather keep it to local news issues? Post your thoughts in the comments on this article online or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The funny things kids say
One of the greatest moments in parenting has to be when we see things that click with our kids. It's great to see their expressions when complicated math concepts click, when they see the connection between cause and effect, or when they realize we actually have good advice to offer and aren't just making stuff up.
That said, it's not always a great moment when things click and our adorable offspring throw our advice back in our faces. Trust me, I know because I experienced this moment recently. It's not the first time it's happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last. It's just another parenting moment.
I posted the conversation at BakersfieldMom.com/the-things-kids-say/. Be sure to check out the site when you need a laugh, and please post your own kid conversations. We all have them!
Here's one from reader Melanie:
"Mom talking to 6-year-old daughter: "You get to be the flower girl for your aunt's wedding and wear a pretty dress."
3-year-old son: "What about me? Do I get to be the flower boy?"
Mom: "No, boys are ring bearers."
Son: "Why am I going to be dressed like a bear?"
Gotta love the things kids say!
Another study was released late last week from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, this one on how private we are online.
Among the findings, "More than half of social networking site users (58 percent) say their main profile is set to private so that only friends can see it; 19 percent set their profile to partially private so that friends of friends can view it; and 20 percent say their main profile is set to be completely public. Women who use SNS (social networking sites) are more likely than men to set the highest restrictions (67 percent vs. 48 percent)."
Have you ever posted something online and then regretted it? According to the survey, you're not alone. Eleven percent of social networking site users said they have.
And since 2009, we're all untagging photos, unfriending people, and deleting posts at a higher rate.
You can read the full study at Pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Privacy-management-on-social-media.aspx
There is still time to vote in Eye Street's Best Server in Bakersfield contest.
Profiles of the 10 finalists appeared in The Californian's Eye Street section over the past few weeks and are now posted online as Notes on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/BakersfieldCalifornian). Take a gander and "Like" your favorite server. The number of "likes" will determine the winner.
The best sever in Bakersfield will win four passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a $50 gift card to Goose Loonies.
Voting will remain open until 5 p.m. Friday.
Jamie Butow is the community engagement coordinator at Bakersfield.com, and the mom of an active 7-year-old boy. Email her at JButow@Bakersfield.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JamieButow2, Twitter @JamieButow, on Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Seriously, she's not that hard to track down.