As I mentioned a couple of months ago, we’ve already had two tweet-ups in Cedar Rapids.

We’re having another one tonight at Brick’s in downtown Cedar Rapids. It’ll kick off around 7 p.m., and if you feel like stopping by, please do!

You know how much we love twitter around here. It’s a great tool not only for keeping up with friends, but also for finding out what’s happening anywhere around the world.

And a new service will let you keep track of what’s happening in Cedar Rapids, as well. Citytweets.net is a new service that aggregates tweets from and about some cities around the U.S. and the world. Proving that we’re on the cutting edge here in Eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids is one of only 21 cities included in the list so far.

There are other ways to search for that, obviously, but this is nearly real-time, which makes it quite useful if you’re wondering what’s happening right now.

So if you’re a twitter user, how do you keep up with the things you’re interested in?

I hope everyone enjoyed their turkey, and in case you’re planning to brave the crowds and go out shopping tomorrow, we’ve got you covered.

You can check out when stores will be open by searching here, and you can find out exactly how bad it’s getting out there by following Chris Doty’s line blog. Chris will be sending updates via Twitter as she and her daughter shop till they drop.

Last night we had the second-ever Eastern Iowa tweetup. Organized by Sarah Wood (a.k.a. @hidama), and had a turnout of nearly 30 people at the Irish Democrat. You can check out the list of everyone who was there.

A tweetup is a chance for twitter users who live near each other to actually meet in the real world and hang out. Many of us had dinner and a drink or two, and there were plenty of Gazette people on hand to talk about what’s going on here. The name comes from the tendency of twitter users to add “tw” to the beginning of everything.

You can take a look at what people had to say here, which includes a link to some pictures, as well.

If you didn’t make it to this one, don’t worry, there’s another one already in the works for late January.

We’ve got lots and lots of coverage for you today. First, you can find out how long the line is at your polling place by clicking here and picking it from a menu.

We’ll also have a live blog running throughout the day for you to talk about election issues.

And, of course, we’ll have results posted as soon as we have them on the front page of GazetteOnline.

If you won’t be around a computer this evening, you can sign up for text alerts, follow The Gazette’s twitter account for up-to-the-minute information or visit GazetteToGo on your mobile phone.

What else do you need to know? Let us know in the comments.

This morning, after we found out gas was below $3 per gallon in the corridor, I asked the people who follow me on Twitter what they thought of the new low prices.

Here’s a sample of the responses I got:

sbergus: I’ll be filling up today, and because the price is so low, I’ll be pouring some on the ground for the homeys that can’t be here.

jowhaley: Who would have thought that we would think gas below $3 was a deal. Could this be the silver lining to the economy issues?

hidama: I say, fill up now! It’s still $3.20 back in MKE. I love driving here and seeing inexpensive gas. This summer our gas was over $4

terryvw: filled up both the vehicles at $3.15, thought it was too good to be true. Figures the price would keep falling.

So what say you all about gas? Are you filling up while it’s (relatively) cheap, or are you waiting to see if it falls even lower? You can reply to me on twitter, send me an e-mail or leave your comments here.

I’ve talked about Twitter here before. This afternoon, I put out this question to the 200 or so people who follow me on Twitter: “OK, a serious-type Gazette question. What do my tweeps think of the bailout bill/economic turmoil? Do you care much?”

Here are some of the responses I got within about 20 minutes:
jbonewald @jamietie I didn’t like it but didn’t think we had a choice. apparently the house thought otherwise, or they were just being stupid.
noyzsource @jamietie Very glad it failed. The fed shouldn’t be into bailouts. Now if we can get the $25B for the automakers stopped.
zpetersen @jamietie Glad it failed. It was a a “crap-sandwich”. We can survive without it despite the fear being tossed around in DC
hidama@jamietie There’s a few college students who watched the debates who are seriously upset about the lack of platform change for the econ.
mhectic @jamietie I’m totally against a blank check for the administration, but I don’t know what alternatives exist. Buffett’s warning was scary.
bergus @jamietie It leads to some general anxiety.
FearCake @jamietie people better care. Jobs are on the line. I hate the idea of putting so much into the bailout but we could face worse if we don’t
medgno @jamietie I think things suck, and something needs to be done. I’m not an econ PhD, so I don’t know what that something is.

We’re working hard to embrace new technology in the newsroom, whether that’s ways to report stories, new ways to present our work to the public or ways to keep reporters in touch with editors.

And one tool we use for all of the above is twitter. (Post updated 2/2/2009 We now have more than 50 newsroom employees using twitter.)

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