Twitter Reunion at Town Hallapalooza

Jim Len Darlene reduced

As I was monitoring Tweets during President Obama’s town hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, today I was very happy to see that my friend Jim Long, an ace NBC cameraman and new media visionary, was covering the event.  “@LenEdgerly is IN THE HOUSE here in Portsmouth!!! (I’m behind the cuts riser)” came across my Tweetie iPhone app, and afterward in the hallway of Portsmouth High School we spotted each other in meatspace.  Jim was about to film NBC’s White House correspondent, Chuck Todd, whom I’ve always admired, so my wife and I had a chance to meet Chuck.  I hoped Mr. Todd didn’t realize that I had been the cheeky guy in line to enter the school who had yelled, “Hey, Chuck Todd!” as he was climbing a hill to interview demonstrators, prompting him to turn around with a startled wave to no one in particular.

Jim asked if Darlene and I could follow him and Chuck past a woman guarding another hallway, but she denied the request. We waited for him in the main hallway and had a brief reunion afterward.  As @newmediajim on Twitter, Jim has 30,000-plus followers who love his Tweets from all over the world.  He confided that it was interesting to hang out in central Texas during the last administration, but that he is looking forward to 10 days of POTUS watching on Martha’s Vinyard soon.

I first met Jim in person two years ago when I did a two-part video portrait of him for my Video Pod Chronicles.  He was covering President Bush during a tete-a-tete with burgers at Kennebunkport with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.  I was terrifically impressed at how Jim was straddling the worlds of new and old media, and I still am.  “He’s such a nice guy,” my wife said on the bus afterward.  What she’d noticed is a quality which makes Jim Long so successful as a big time news cameraman. He meets every person and event with boyish but smart enthusiasm, in addition to deep professional talent and experience in the medium of video.  We had an amazing time at the town hall.  Our impromptu meetup with @newmediajim was the perfect punctuation mark for a great day.

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