February 20, 2008

Getting the Word Out in 2008

A few years ago, reaching the greatest number of people with news, in the quickest amount of time, would seemingly be an easy task. Get a list of people to call, prioritize, and then start dialing, starting with the most important, and eventually, reaching the last person on the list, before going back to the top of the list and calling those who didn't pick up. And if you didn't want to talk to the person face to face, you could type out a letter and send it out, leaving the time between sending and receiving it in the hands of the postal service.

For news like that we posted last night, announcing a near-term addition to the family, this pre-2008 process could take hours, and eventually seep into days.

Thank goodness those times are behind us. Last night, I essentially took 4 ways to get the news out. I first posted it here, on louisgray.com, then followed on by posting the news to FriendFeed and Twitter. When I'd hit all the instant routes, I then crawled through my address book, and sent out an e-mail to those who likely wouldn't be at any of the online media. Sure enough, even as I was creating the e-mail, I started to get comments flowing into my in box, as those RSS-enabled subscribers wished us well.

All told, I sent the e-mail to 57 people, and got 22 replies, for about a 40% hit rate. The blog did just as well, with 24 comments (so far), and FriendFeed surprised me, with a solid 15 responses. Twitter was the lagger, with 8 replies. In aggregate, we got about 70 friendly notes of congratulations, and after a few quick calls to my grandparents, who aren't as Web connected, I think we got just about everybody, and it was a lot easier than getting a crick in my neck after a telephone marathon.

As for why I sent the notes out in so many places to so many folks, as I reminded my wife, I majored in "Mass" Communications, not "Minor" Communications, so that's the way we do things around here.