The Best of Chippewa Falls Volume One's guide to the riverside city » Presented by Mason Companies, Leinie Lodge, Northwestern Bank, and Go Chippewa Falls

Staff Notes

From Floppy Disks to YouTube Videos, We’re Just Here to Tell Stories

you may be reading this on your phone, but it’s part of a tradition that goes back to the dawn of humanity

Tom Giffey |

ADMIT IT: YOU STILL HAVE SOME OF THESE, TOO. For those of you too young to know, this is a stack of 3.5-inch floppy discs.
ADMIT IT: YOU STILL HAVE SOME OF THESE, TOO. For those of you too young to know, this is a stack of 3.5-inch floppy discs.

On a whim, I recently bought a 3.5-inch floppy drive for my home computer. (Kids: Ask your parents what a floppy disc is. Then ask them to regale you tales stories about dial-up Internet access.) I figured it would help me weed through a pile of old discs I accumulated in college and early in my professional journalism career. I plugged the drive into a USB port, popped in a disc, and waited for the familiar mechanical clicking and spinning sounds. Momentarily, I was looking at a list of the filenames of articles I had written 20 years ago or so. I clicked on one, and was greeted with my byline and the following text:

Story goes here.

Story goes here.

Story goes here.

Apparently, I never got very far in that one – or a few others I opened.

I tell stories both because I make a living at it (lucky me – seriously!) but because it’s part of human nature. Across town or across the world, we crave connection with each other.

TOM GIFFEY

MANAGING EDITOR

In this business, writer’s block is a familiar foe. Nonetheless, the filler text got me thinking – about stories. Whether writing for a magazine or website or video or any other medium, that’s ultimately what those of us on this side of the media equation do all day: We tell stories. Sure, they may be called articles or columns, features packages or live reports. They may get consumed via woodblock print on vellum or YouTube video on iPhone, but ultimately they’re part of a tradition that reaches back to the dawn of humanity.

I tell stories both because I make a living at it (lucky me – seriously!) but because it’s part of human nature. Across town or across the world, we crave connection with each other. Those connections can be forged through fictional fable or – in the case of the magazine you’re holding – facts about the people and things around us.

Whether you’re reading a 2,000-word profile about a fascinating local person or just skimming event listings looking for somewhere to hang out, you’re doing so because you want to learn about and connect with your fellow Chippewa Vallians. I’m lucky to have helped people do that since the days 3.5-inch floppy discs were standard equipment, and I hope to be doing it far into the future.