If you're like me, you've used an online e-mail program like Yahoo! mail or Gmail for several years now, and not much has changed. You send mail; you get mail. That's it.
Then Google rolled out a free feature for Gmail that would change the face of communication as we know it: Google Buzz.
What is Buzz? Imagine if your current e-mail client had a torrid affair with Twitter and your photo album.
Flashback a couple of months, back when Google rolled out another free feature that also was supposed to change the face of communication as we know it: Google Wave.
Like Buzz, Wave allows you to communicate and collaborate in different ways (chat, status updates, pictures, file-sharing) with all your friends on Google.
Also like Buzz, I signed up for it as soon as I could—only to be disappointed by how few people were using it.
Instead of asking, "Why should I care?" the better question would be, "When should I care?" A year and a half ago, there were plenty of people on Twitter, but it wasn't necessary to join until, seemingly, everyone but you was on it. This is the main problem with social networks: Their usefulness is solely dependent on the people who use them.
From the Weekly's standpoint, having more people in our social networks benefits us both in terms of gathering news and disseminating news. At 2,400 people and counting, the Weekly has the most-followed Twitter feed in local news, which gives us another way to get our content out to our readers quickly; at the same time, it provides a snapshot look at what people are talking about in Tucson.
Now that's something to buzz about.
If you live in Tucson, it's safe to assume you eat in Tucson, too. And if you eat here, we've got a new feature for you. We're always interested in hearing what you think about local eateries, but now we've arranged a list on our homepage of restaurants we need reviews of. Simply sign in, and tell us what you thought about your dining experience in the comment section. Know about a place that's closed or one we don't have yet in our database? We've got a place where you can tell us about that, too.
"Re: HB 2213, TW wrote, 'Arguing that nabbing lawbreakers is a violation of ... .' 'Nabbing lawbreakers'? Hardly. The city of Tucson shortens its yellow lights at red-light-camera locations and makes up its own definition of where the intersection begins in order to CREATE red-light runners. It's all about the revenue. I'm a liberal Democrat, and those cameras need to come down."
We let you know that Democrat Ted Downing, a former state representative, was going to try to defeat state Sen. Paula Aboud in the August primary; offered the latest news in the ongoing story about whether Marana officials accepted free meals at a controversial developer's restaurant; and gave you the skinny on how a corporate tax-cut plan proposed by House Republicans would cost the state close to a billion dollars a year once it's in place.
We urged you to try the tasty barbecue at the Hog Pit Smokehouse; presented the scoop on downtown boutique Preen's big move to Fourth Avenue; and gave a shout-out the upcoming KXCI FM 91.3 music festival, headlined by Calexico, happening in April.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we told you about the free endangered-species condoms being handed out by the Center for Biological Diversity; shared some great personal ads; and weighed in on American Apparel's search for the Best Bottom in the World.
On the science beat, we posted new photos from Mars and mentioned that the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab was in the running to develop a robot lab that would land on an asteroid to collect samples before flying back home.
We also continued our new feature, Artistic Range, with work from Masao Yamamoto (at Etherton Gallery), Juan Carlos Breceda (at Tansey Gallery), Allyson Bennett (at Epic Café) and Paula Taylor (at Zoe Boutique).