Web continues to impress

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 9, 2005

The power of the Internet never ceases to amaze me.

Since we got serious about suffolknewsherald.com earlier this year, I’m continually impressed by the number of people I run into or correspond with who say they read the site regularly.

The immediacy is also something to which a 20-year veteran of the dinosaur media has to adjust.

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For instance, whenever I’ve popped off about somebody in a column like this, I’ve always had at least 18 hours or so to prepare for the reaction it might get. And that’s important for someone like me who’s not too fast on his feet.

In addition to this column, I write a little daily piece during the week on the Web site which is called the &uot;Editor’s Blog.&uot; It’s typically just stuff off the top of my head, sometimes deranged stream of consciousness-type stuff if you will. Normally little thought goes into the preparation and even less editing. I want it to be raw.

I rarely spend more than 10 or 15 minutes on it.

Friday morning coming to work I saw a sign on 17 that Russell Potts, Independent candidate for governor, was going to appear at the Eclipse-Crittenden-Hobson Ruritan House today at 3 p.m. for a meet and greet.

I told reporter Allison Williams about the sign so she could prepare a little preview story on it for Saturday’s paper. She had also seen flyers around that morning and was a step ahead of me.

She called Potts’ office and was told the event had been cancelled, that the candidate had been busy and was kind of pooped.

She told me this at about 11 a.m. and in a few minutes I had prepared a blog about the cancellation and posted it to the Web site. By about 1:30, Potts’ campaign had seen the posting and were calling, somewhat frantically, saying the appearance was back on. Then they called back and said it was off again, something about the candidate’s grandson’s birth or birthday or something, I’m not sure.

I couldn’t believe that they had read it and responded so quickly and was not prepared to speak to them about it.

In the future, I’m going to tread a little more carefully. Knowing that someone can know immediately when I’ve insulted them makes me a little gun shy.

My wife got me a pedometer for Father’s Day – one of those doohickey’s that strap to your belt and counts how many steps you take.

I’m sure it was some kind of hint, but I’ve come to like it and wear it religiously. The biggest problem with Americans’ health is our inactivity. People in other countries that do not have the obesity-related problems we do have one thing in common – their people do a lot more walking than we do.

I’ve read that a person should take about 10,000 steps a day to maintain their fitness level. The first few days I wore the gadget I was distressed to find I was hitting only between 3,000 and 3,500 steps during the course of my typical day.

I started doing some things about it, the first being instead of parking as close to the front door of the office as possible each day, I park at the fare corner of our lot.

Now I take 100 steps to the door instead of 30. I figure I conservatively make two trips to my car during the day. So I’ve upped my step count tremendously with this one change. I calculate this one move added approximately 2100 steps a week, or about 63 miles annualized. That’s a lot. This plus parking farther away at stores brought my daily step count to more than 7,000 in short order.

I still need to get on the treadmill for 20 minutes most evenings to crack 10,000.

I credit the pedometer for my increased activity and highly recommend it to anyone who’s watching their weight.

Andy Prutsok is editor and publisher of the News-Herald. He can be reached at 934-9611 or at andy.prutsok@suffolknewsherald.com.