If, in fact, as The Buggles infamously declared in 1979, video killed the radio star, and as history has shown, CraigsList crushed newspaper classified ads, then it stands to reason that Facebook, Twitter and other social media has dealt a blow to the longstanding tradition of letters to the editor.
And it’s unfortunate.
Unlike the instant gratification and shotgun scatter effect of social media, letter writing requires focus, thought and reflection. And while letters to the editor may not necessarily go viral, they do reach a very specific group who may not be your “friends” or “followers,” but more importantly, your neighbors - your neighbors who are facing the same problems and concerns, experiencing the same joys and sense of community.
With this in mind, The Daniel Island News wants to encourage you to speak out, share your thoughts, and connect with your community again. Sure, there are rules. No name-calling, abusive language or anonymous rants (we verify by phone your submission.)
And no instant gratification; you may need to wait your turn as space permits. And you can’t ramble on and on; you only get 250 words to deliver your message. (Still more than Twitter character counts.)
As we enter the final weeks of this unprecedented political season, we expect readers will be more motivated to submit letters and we look forward to that. But in the interest of fairness, we won’t be publishing multiple boilerplate letters. We also will not publish any election-related letters in the print issue immediately prior to Election Day. So the last day for publication of election-related letters will be Thursday, Oct. 22, with the final submission deadline on Sunday, Oct. 18.
In another effort to engage readers and encourage them to add their voices to our Viewpoint page, we have instituted a weekly poll readers can find in the Monday and Friday Current e-newsletters, as well as on this page. You can sign up to receive The Current for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
with your request.
We want to know what readers are thinking about the many different topics discussed each day across the community. Some are serious talking points about what is going on in the world around us. Some are curiosity factors — those “hmm” moments. Some are just fun or funky like the latest viral video or favorite pizza topping.
These will not be scientific polls, but are designed to be conversation starters and provoke thought.
Our first question was distributed last week and is shared on this page, where we will publish future results each week. And we hope, if you have a suggestion for a question we should ask you’ll email me at boots@thedanielisland
In the coming weeks, The Daniel Island News will be adding a few other new features — such as “Get to Know Your Neighbor,” “Kids’ Acts of Kindness” and a monthly fitness and wellness column. We will share more details as we prepare to debut them.
We look forward to finding more ways to engage with the community.
Now, starting writing those letters.