I promised a big announcement today so here it comes.
Okay, I’ll have the big announcement in a minute or two. First of all I just want to tell you how amazed/pleased/excited/energized I am over what the #Backchannel has become in a relatively short time. As you know when we embarked down this path I only had a vague idea where it might lead. My immediate goal had been just to open some line of communication between us…to remove the glass screen that has blocked my view of you through my entire career.
So I tweeted. And like some lonesome cry in the night wind a few of you heard me and tweeted back. It was like that moment in “Castaway” when Tom Hanks finally made fire. You “early adopters” will remember what started happening pretty quickly. A few more joined in. I tweeted…you tweeted back. You asked questions about the stories we were running on the air. You made comments. You wondered abut the process of making television. I lifted the curtain and gave you a peek…like Dorothy getting her first look at the Wizard. That was pretty cool in itself… but then a really cool thing started happening. You stopped talking to just me and started talking to each other. Like new arrivals to a new subdivision you realized there were people on the other side of that fence. And the #backchannel community was born.
That leads me to where we go next. What is #backchannel v 2.0? I got a glimpse Friday night. We ran a story about a couple whose wheelchair ramp was stolen and sold for scrap. Before the story was done we had backchannelers volunteering to get together and build them a new ramp. That is a peek into the combined power of “old media” and “new media”… of TV and Twitter. The ability to put out a message and amplify it with action.
So this leads me to the big announcement. At least I hope that’s the way you see it…I do.
Starting immediately I want you to find the stories that I will cover on Channel 7. I want you to find the good people doing good things in your community. I want you to tell me about the interesting characters and fascinating sights that make your communities special. I want you to stop complaining that all you see on TV is bad news and give me some good news.
That’s it…pretty simple. Oh, there is one little catch. I don’t want you just to tell me about it. I want you so show me. I want you to show the entire #backchannel. It doesn’t have to be perfect and polished. Just take your flip camera or iPhone and shoot some video. Show us the pictures of why it is a compelling story. If you have a fascinating character that needs to be introduced to the #backchannel… and the Channel 7 audience… put him/her/it on camera and show us. If you can edit some sound, video, even your own narration into a short story, do it! Post the video on YouTube or Vimeo or wherever and hashtag a synopsis to the #backchannel.
I’ll post the links on this blog site and open it to comments. If the backchannel agrees that the story is compelling and interesting I’ll grab my “junior correspondent’s” camera gear and shoot the story for broadcast on Channel 7. If you really hit your “pitch” out of the park I’ll find a way to slip your version past the “suits” and get it on our website at wxyz.com…maybe even use some of your story in my story. The #backchannel will start showing Detroit it’s best, rather than worst side.
Something I have learned about myself and about you since we started getting together is that we are exceedingly passionate and motivated. We backchannelers are pioneers in a vast new world that stretches somewhere between “old” and “new” media. I have faith that we’re up to this challenge and I can’t wait to get started.