Browsing articles in "journalism"
Nov 5, 2009
Amber

Fanny faux pas

You think you get a lot of spam e-mails? Try being an editor for a newspaper.

The amount of spam I receive is astounding, and most of it is written like a press release trying to entice me into thinking their product is awesome enough to let the entire population of Hugo, Okla. know about through our fair publication.

Needless to say, I check my e-mails with one finger over the delete button. I read in the Oklahoma Press Association publication awhile back that one paper decided to start sending e-mails back asking to send a sample of their product. Surprisingly, this method has worked and the paper has received items like coffee pots and make up. They then review the items, good or bad. This is a fun idea, but I just don’t have the patience right now.

One junk e-mail has stuck out for me as I have received it about three times now and the product just sort of blows my mind.

Meet the SPIbelt: screen-shot-2009-11-04-at-110117-pm


Look at that handy little pack. She can fit so many things in it, too! A phone, a wallet, some keys … And it fits right on your hips, one might even say it fits snugly above the fanny. Oh wait, I’ve seen this before:

fannypack

It’s a fanny pack, people! I’m only an assistant editor not a miracle worker, I cannot bring the ’80s back for you.

Jul 17, 2009
Amber

Life Update

This post is going to be a bit of a life update since I have neglected my blog for so long, but do not stress for it will also directly relate to the Internet.

I haven’t updated my blog since April because May became quite hectic for me.

I graduated.

mecrowd

My family came to visit.

collage

And I got a job within the same week. In a few short days, all of our stuff had to be packed and moved 484 miles to my new home in Hugo, Oklahoma.

Internet was a necessary utility of course, so I went in to the local cable company, SuddenLink, and signed up for the high speed Internet/cable TV package. We had cable in Columbia and though we had a few connection issues, overall we were happy with the package. We had phone, 10 mbps Internet and cable that included a DVR box.

I was surprised for the price of the package (~$79 a month) that we weren’t getting any deals. Only 56 channels and no DVR or cable box of any kind. It was the Internet, however, which really irritated me. After using it for a few days we were confused why YouTube videos wouldn’t load and we’d get kicked off any online games. We checked the speed and were amazed that we were topping out at only 128 k. We visited the SuddenLink office and discovered that our package was, in fact, for 128 k. I guess I should have clarified what “high speed” meant. To upgrade just a little in speed was going to be $15 more.

Frustrated, we decided to do our research. Turns out that in this small town DSL is actually faster than cable. So at the beginning of this week we took the plunge, ditched SuddenLink for good and got an AT&T/DirecTV package. For the same price, we get 200 channels with a DVR box and a lovely 6 mbps download speed. Joyous day! I am all about getting the most for my money so I think this was a wise switch.

Also, our SlingBox now works.

What’s sad is the lady who works at SuddenLink didn’t even bother trying to convince us to stay, she even admitted to having AT&T herself.

I am, however, frustrated that I did not know about the Blizzard deal running with DirecTV before purchasing everything. I could have gotten a free in-game WoW pet and got to watch BlizzCon for free. 🙁  It’s always something.

Mar 13, 2009
Amber

Twitterview

Tuesday, March 17 is going to be an exciting day. You get to pinch your non-green wearing friends, have an excuse to be drunk in public in the middle of the week and you can witness the first ever Twitterview!

As a journalist and Web-geek, I feel it is my duty to blog about this. At 12 noon on Tuesday, George Stephanopoulos of ABC News will conduct a full interview with Senator John McCain using only Twitter. That’s right, the site that confines your posts to 140 characters. I’m a big Twitterphile and apparently so is John McCain. He updates about his day and favorite sports like anyone else, but he’s also become popular for doing countdowns on pork spending in the upcoming stimulus package. So it makes a lot of sense that he’d go for this concept.

Stephanopoulos got the idea for the Twitterview when he asked my own state senator, Claire McCaskill, via Twitter why she suddenly decided to vote no on the $410-billion omnibus budget bill since she had said she was supporting it before. She tweeted him back:

“George S.:Ultimately just couldn’t do it. Not just earmrks tho, also increase in spendng(8%too much)& failure to reconcile $ with stimuls.”

How cool. I know that McCain and several other Twitter-smart politicians respond to people and read the replies. It makes people feel more connected to their politicians and it’s smart of them to keep people updated via a popular tool like Twitter. I’m excited for the Twitterview and what this means for journalism. Will a lot of people tune in? Will it engage people? Will this be a stepping stone for more online live interviews on social networks?

We shall see.

Feb 28, 2008
Amber

“Hello world!” and other such cliches.

To Blog

I have had a number of these little online journals in the past. I’ve tried LiveJournal, Xanga, and Blogger several times. Many web sites incorporate their own blogging functions including MySpace and Facebook. In the past, I have used blogs to stay in touch with friends far away. I have also used blogs as journalistic tools and for school assignments.

Now, I want a blog for myself and for whoever may be inclined to read.

This will be a place to write about what I see. Perhaps comment on an article, issue or event. Perhaps add more information to a story I see lacking something. I find myself constantly reading. I am quite addicted to the Internet and all it has to offer. Information overload some say but I can’t get enough. I hear a big story and I search for every bit of information I can find. It’s amazing to be able to know so much.

Discussion

I love being a part of the discussion. This is an issue that journalist’s often encounter. They want to be a part of the “third place.” The place where people are discussing, debating, where people talk about life. This is where the real stories come from. These can be coffee shops, clubs, restaurants, bars, offices, and in modern times people find themselves on the Web. I find myself lurking these local Online alcoves of discussion. I find them on local message boards, Craigslist, Facebook, and commenting on stories. I have found stories this way and sometimes I just follow an interesting debate on a hot local topic like red light cameras or smoking bans. If you know what the people are saying, you’re better prepared to talk to them about it in an interview. Continue reading »