The approaching madness of Autumn

Beautiful fall scene

Here's a teaser photo of some falling leaves. Better than a photo of dead grass.

All the dead grass that surrounds me is a reminder of the dead leaves of fall.

I’ve got a heavy load of school work, real work and newspaper work coming my way when those leaves start falling. Just when the fallen extremities begin to decay, so will my motivation.

At least, that’s how it usually goes.

Not this year. It’s the summer’s version of the New Year’s Resolution, I know, but I am bound to change my complacent habits this fall. I have to.

I’ve put a lot of responsibility on my own shoulders this year, and I’ve got a lot to learn.

I thought I would share with you some of the things I hope to learn about this fall, and give you some kind of expectations on what to anticipate what I’ll be blogging about:

 

SEO – I thought I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for the Web Director position. After speaking with the Oklahoman’s SEO guys, I realized I only knew the EXTREME basics. I have a tendency to write about things I just learn, so expect many a posts about SEO tips and tricks.

Content Management – I’ll be installing and tweaking a new theme for the Kentucky Kernel Website, kykernel.com, and I know WordPress and I are going to have our bouts together this year.

Opinion writing – I’m taking a column writing class in the fall, and I expect to be conflicted often in that class with journalism vs. opinion. That will probably make me look into the use of social media for opinion writing as opposed to journalism (serious hint hint).

Monetization – I’m bound to become a much better blogger this year, as I decide on ways for our site to gain readership and $$$$$$ (Money, spelled in dollar signs).

 

What the trick will be for me is relating all this to storytelling. That, my readers, will probably come to extreme surprises to you.

Wish me luck. But more importantly, happy reading!

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Time: Use it or lose it

Deadlines are a haunting and exhilarating piece to a journalist’s life. But many times, deadlines are longer than you need.
Say you are writing a profile on a musician with no time value. You have all week and it’s just Monday. Interview is on Tuesday morning. Then what?
I’ve been dealing with long deadlines lately, and been thinking about how I can be productive while waiting on a call back, or between interviews, besides the traditional fact-checking and organizing of my notes.
Here are a few ideas I have on how to increase productivity in your downtime:
1. Do a daily – Sometimes there are smaller pieces inside your much bigger piece that could stand by itself as a short daily. For example, an event preview, or an off-topic issue inside your bigger story. A lot of these could make a short daily story, or even a sidebar for your main project.
2. Make it multimedia – Get out that camera and shoot a video, and ask your subject to do an on-camera interview. Anything to add pizzazz or pop to your page is a good thing.
3. Pursue a project – Use that half hour between your interviews to look into your next big hit.
4. Learn a trade – If you don’t know how to use Final Cut, or InDesign, now is your chance. Lots of easy, quick tutorials can help you master the basics and get some valuable skills.