If you subscribe to the Lawrence Journal-World, or read it online, you might have seen this little article about businesses and social media. It was actually on the front page of the print edition on Sunday!

The reporter called me last week and asked a bunch of questions about what we do and how we do it, with regard to social media. I thought I'd share some of that information here, since news articles always get cut short due to space.

We've had a website for lots of years, along with our famous webcam. Lots of funny stuff happens at The Sandbar, and we started joking about how someday we should write a book. I started learning and hearing about blogs, and eventually decided that if we were serious about a future book, it would be much easier to start small.

This blog was born in September, 2006. As of right now, there are 820 posts- a few are saved drafts, but most of those are published. That's a lot of stories. I don't know if they'll ever be compiled into an actual book, but they'll live on for eternity right here.

When I researched where to set up the blog, lots of people recommended MySpace. Remember, it was the hot thing at the time. I didn't want the blog to be on a site where people had to be members in order to read it, but I decided it would be fun to have a Sandbar MySpace page. We don't do much with that page these days- sorry to those of you who still play there.

We're also big fans of videos. Our indoor hurricane began in 2002, and we've uploaded videos to YouTube for several years. Most of our videos were uploaded to my personal account (since I didn't know any better at the time), but now we also have an official Sandbar YouTube channel

Once I got a little bored with MySpace, Facebook started to hit my radar and I decided to set up a Sandbar page. Only I did it wrong. I didn't have a personal Facebook account at the time and had no idea how it worked, so I ended up creating a profile that people "friended." This is actually against Facebook's Terms of Service, as businesses should have fan pages, not profiles, and people should become fans, not friends. I figured that out, recreated a Sandbar fan page, and here we are. 

Then, Twitter. We joined this micro-blogging site a little over a year ago. It's a nice compliment to the other social media efforts we've made, and Twitter has allowed us to reach out to new people and the community in ways that Facebook or MySpace don't. You can follow us here

That's a little bit about how our business started down the path of social media. It's been fun to learn and we hope our fans enjoy our efforts!