February 27, 2011

About social networking and your early Levittown blog; posting Mr. Lasker's obituary yesterday took teamwork

By Frank Barning

Yesterday we posted the obituary of long-time Levittown teacher and administrator Lawrence Lasker. Many of the early Division Avenue High School students had him as a teacher prior to his becoming an assistant principal.

How did your blogger obtain Mr. Lasker's obituary? At about 10:30 a.m. on Friday, it was forwarded to me by Lou Zinser, class of 1966 who had received it from a friend. I did a Google search of Mr. Lasker and found a recent photo of him, which I included with the obituary yesterday.

At about 5 p.m., I contacted Marilyn Monsrud Frese, class of 1963, and asked her to scan any worthwhile yearbook photos of Mr. Lasker. Marilyn has the first four DAHS yearbooks and has been a valuable ally in my blogging efforts. Three hours later, yearbook scans were received. Yesterday, the obituary and photos were posted at 6:15 a.m.

Within five minute after the obituary and photos were posted, under the story this comment was posted by Joan Bartels Signorelli, class of 1962. "I remember Larry Lasker fondly, not only as a teacher, but as a friend of my parents through the Masonic organization. I am sorry to hear of his passing. He was a great person and a great teacher." Several more glowing tributes from former students were posted.

The blog is important to Joan who follows it very closely, and often posts comments. To many of our blog readers, our stories are like letters from home. Some of the letters provide memories and others, such as the occasional obituary, result in tears. Whatever the case, we are connected to our Levittown roots, which run deep in many of us.

Rarely do I write about how the blog and its nearly 240 posts have been put together. Such information is not about the major theme, early Levittown, so I tend to stay away from it. However, the combination of Zinser to Barning to Monsrud leading to a post on our blog is a wonderful example of social networking.

A year or so ago, most of us had never heard of social networking. Now it's an international phenomenon. Facebook has been a leader. It spawned a movie, The Social Network which has been nominated for eight Academy Awards. The winners will be announced tonight. And the fall of the tyrannical government in Egypt has been credited to social networking with Facebook a major vehicle for change.

What is social networking. Here is one definition:

"Social networking is defined as bringing individuals together into specific groups, often like a small community or a neighborhood. Although social networking is possible in person, especially in schools or in the workplace, it is most popular on the internet. This is because unlike most high schools, colleges, or workplaces, the internet is filled with billions of individuals who are looking to meet other internet users and develop friendships.

"When it comes to social networking on the internet, websites are used. These websites are known as social networking websites. Social networking websites are just like an online community of internet users. Depending on which social networking websites, most of these online community members share a common passion, whether that passion be hobbies, religion, or politics. Once you are given access to a social networking website you can begin to socialize. This socialization includes reading the profiles or profile pages of other members or even contacting them."

My blog has created a neighborhood of people, most of whom lived and attended school in Levittown in the early years of our town, plus others who are interested in the subject for a variety of reasons. The blog is viewed by people around the globe, including old Levittowners who now live in England, Germany, Canada and Israel. Regular blog readers take their laptops and other devices on vacation to keep up with what we are posting.

My blog is not part of Facebook, although I use Facebook to connect my Facebook friends to the blog. The blog is part of a website called Blogspot.com, which is a free weblog publishing tool from Google, for sharing text and photos.

Much terminology is new to us senior citizens and sometimes needs explaining. It has been a learning experience for me and I do want to point out one thing that many of us get wrong. I did at first. Someone will write, for example, "I really liked your blog yesterday." What is really meant is I liked the story you posted on your blog. A post is like a chapter in a book. A blog is the book. Please forgive me for being picky but that is my nature. Just ask my wife of 42 years.

Most blogs that I have seen are entirely written by one person, with no contributions from others, except comments. That is not the concept of our/your blog.

Thanks to all of you for helping me build a community of like minded people. Without an audience as well as contributors such as Lou and Marilyn and many others, there is no community and there is no blog. I look forward to putting many more chapters in the book, with a little help from my friends.


Anonymous said...

You have created something wonderful...I am not into talking on the phone socially...I have an Admin. Sales position at work so am on the phone..world wide...all day...so avoid the phone when I get home. Your blog gives me something to look forward to...hearing about people that I knew..(who probably did not know me) what they are doing...it is very, very intriguing, interesting and exciting..

Keep up the good work...so many of us just love it!


Carol Binninger Mondello

Anonymous said...

You will incorporate the posts from your blog into a most important book that will be dear to all your followers for the memories it has stirred and captured. My gratitude and that of so many others is endless. Please put me down for one of those first edition copies. PJMcD

Marilyn Monsrud Frese said...

We, your Blog Readers, are so happy to contribute to your efforts Frank. It took a lot of work and a huge effort, for you to build this blog up like you did. And it's obvious that it's a labor of love! Thanks to you, many readers can relive those wonderful teenage years. What great memories it stirs up! Especially for many Seniors like me who have a hard time remembering so much of what we experienced back then. But with just a few sentences from you and your bloggers it all comes back in full color!!! So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for bringing back so many memories of our youth and connecting us all in such a magical way!

Kathy said...

I am very glad you have reflected on your process of publishing the Blog, Frank, and am very grateful for your dedication and effort. Marilyn does, indeed, deserve much thanks. I know from past personal experience how she is always there when a photo or fact aobut the past is needed. I disagree, however, that we are all "like-minded". Indeed, I can see we are of many different minds - just like Levittown! I think we are alike in our desire for Connection, with each other, and esp. with the "Idea" and experience of L'town. Kathy Stahlman Zinn '63

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