A little background. Nearly two weeks earlier, on October 20, Another e-mail had arrived: "CNN INTERVIEW REQUEST." That's a stop-what-you're-doing e-mail, right? Inside it said: "My name is Sarah Hoye and I am a reporter for CNN stationed in Philadelphia. ... I am following up on concerns over youth football as a result of the recent Rutgers University football player who is paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury while making a tackle. ... I am writing to see if any of you may have connections to high school football players in the Philly area; or parents of high school football players, who are willing to talk about the dangers of the sport, their fears or lack of fears. ... Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you!"
Right away, I connected Sarah with my brother, Curtis, whose son, Calvin, is a varsity quarterback who the weekend before had just led his team to a sensational comeback against my high school alma mater. Last fall, Calvin suffered a concussion knocking him out of his team's state championship game. A couple days later, Sarah spent an afternoon with Calvin and teammates at the school and interviewed Curtis and his wife, Renarda, at their home.
So now, with no notice, it was live on CNN.com. I first viewed it using my CNN app for the iPhone, but couldn't listen to it because the barber shop chatter was too loud. Finding it online once back on campus was a challenge, because more than three hours had gone by since it went live. Finally found it on the U.S. page and there was my nephew's face, in the top left corner, right next to the face of the president of the United States! (A video of President Obama at a news conference during his trip to India anchored the webpage.)
After saving three screenshots for posterity, I then went about sharing this page with the world. Amazingly, more than two people had already recommended this for Facebook from the badge on the page. The page had about 72 comments from folks presumably from around the world. I shared the link via Facebook directly, as I have often shared webpages there. I then shared it on LinkedIn and Twitter, a much rarer thing as I typically focus on the former for connections and as online resume, and as far as the latter, I just haven't engaged there as much as I should.
Most revealing about the experience is that I never cared whether Sarah's piece actually appeared on CNN, the network, that is. Talk about emerging media. In the past, being on CNN meant being there at the exact time it came on or maybe missing it. Sure, you can TiVo it. But try taking TiVo with you or sharing it with everyone you know. It's so much easier to share a webpage link via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Or saving it to Delicious for easy access.
Like I always say, when you want your family to go global, keep it simple.