Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Small world made even smaller by Google

I got an e-mail this morning from Rachelle Walchli of Hermiston Melon Co. She found the post I did last month about Hermiston watermelons.

She wrote: "I loved this article! Was it also in the Capital Press? If so, what issue and page? I stumbled onto this through a Google search. I am printing it and hanging it in our melon shed. Thanks for sharing your story and educating people on our sweet Hermiston Walchli Melons!"

That's high praise indeed.

I remember back in my early days as a reporter, I was working for the East Oregonian and one of the beats I was assigned to cover was the school district I had attended from elementary school through high school back in Echo. One day I was at my old high school to cover some story and was walking through one of the halls when I spotted something familiar hanging on a bulletin board. It was a story I had written, complete with a photo I had taken. Right there. Hanging on the wall. It was quite a thrill to see that someone had clipped it out and posted it for others to read.

Over the years, I've worked at lots of newspapers and seen stories, sometimes ones I wrote but often one's written by coworkers, from the publications I was working for hanging up in a variety of businesses. But this is the first time I have had any indication that something published only online on the Blogriculture site has been printed out for hanging on a wall.

I was going to e-mail Rachelle to let her know that the article was only available on the Blogriculture site, but realized the comment feature didn't give me her e-mail address, so I had to track down her phone number. So, I turned to the same tool she was using when she found the article in the first place, the Google search engine.

Whatever did we do before Google and other search engines existed? Heck, it's even become my phone book and directory assistance service. If I can't find a way to contact someone now by searching for an e-mail address or phone number online I call someone else.

Now if I could just figure out how to get Hermiston watermelons, or Walla Walla sweet onions, or Lindsay, Calif., olives, or Coachella Valley, Calif., table grapes to pop out my USB port on my computer anytime I wanted. If we can use GPS to drive tractors, can that sort of farm commodity delivery be far behind?

I should have asked if they have any melons left.

By the way, if you are looking for Hermiston Melon Co.'s website, Rachelle said they are working on revising it and getting it relaunched. So, there's not much to see there right now. But stay tuned. That may be changing.

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