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Help us grow our network, fight cancer

The Tribune wants to be more “social” — and help out a tremendous local cause at the same time.

We need your help to do it and it won’t cost you anything more than a few minutes of your time.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years — and maybe even then if it had WiFi — you know that social networking Web sites have imbedded themselves into our culture.

Facebook is by far the most popular, having more than 400 million users across the world. They spend more than 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

In part so popular because it is completely free, Facebook offers a way for people to connect with old friends and make new ones, network with peers and coworkers, share photos, play games and a host of other activities.

It also allows users to become fans of, or “like,” pages for businesses, organizations or events. That is where The Tribune wants your help.

Although we have had the Facebook page for several months, we really havent promoted it. The newspaper posts news feeds of its stories each day, breaking news and may even seek story ideas or assistance in the future.

Our Facebook friends could find out what is going on just by being online at www.facebook.com/irontontribune.

So, if you read The Tribune — online, in print or some combination — and use Facebook, we want you to “like” us.

It may sound like we are desperate for attention but in fact we simply want to take advantage of this technology to stay connected with our readers and better serve the community.

But we are willing to tie this effort back into making a difference by helping a local cause.

For every new “friend” we gain over the next week, The Tribune will donate 10 cents to the American Cancer Society on behalf of the Lawrence County Relay for Life that is set for this weekend.

Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. This will help in the fight to research ways to overcome the disease.

While a dime may not sound like much, it could add up very quickly. It isn’t uncommon for a page or business to have thousands of fans. The Tribune is at 600 people who “like” us, a relatively low number partly because we haven’t promoted the site well.

If we gain a 1,000 more that is $100 that we will donate and so on.

We will make the same donation for Twitter, another networking site that allows people to sign up for “tweets” from friends or organizations.

Right now we have 208 Twitter followers.

The newspaper industry has to continue to evolve and stay connected with the community and its readers.

“Likes” and “tweets” are new ways of communicating with our audience.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.