Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Small Triumphs

I am a firm believer that even the smallest triumphs should be celebrated, even if it seems a bit selfish. The good thing about having a blog is you can do some selfish celebrating and not feel too bad, because hey, it's your blog!

So I have decided to do a little celebrating of a recent triumph that I had a hand in.

In the newspaper world, we get to enter our work in annual contests with the hope of winning an award (and bragging rights for the year). For me, I go all year without really thinking about such contests, until it comes time to enter them. Then it's a mad scramble to find the best content to submit.

Since becoming the Digital Content Editor at the Clinton Herald, I typically don't produce stories or photos, so my submissions to contests never bear my name. My job is to do anything and everything online, and so I submit our website and/or specific web presentations to contests.

I recently submitted our site and six presentations to our parent company's contest, "Best of CNHI." We were excited this week to learn that we had won the award for "Website of the Year" in our division.

This was a huge encouragement for me as the website has been my [work] life since August 2011. I've spent over a year working on it, tweaking it, and trying to do the best I can with what I have. To win two awards in one year has been very, very exciting. (Our first website award and the experiences surround it are documented here.)

Among the presentations we submitted was this year-in-review slideshow I had put together:

We also submitted a page I put together for RAGBRAI (a bike ride across Iowa that ended in Clinton; it's a pretty big deal here), a web presentation my co-worker Angie Bicker and I worked on (she wrote the story and took the photo while I filmed and edited the video; we also won an Associated Press award for it), an election day guide I assembled from our content and ballot information, and two local stories (one on the caucuses and one on a settlement) that I packaged with additional information.

I love having the opportunity to be part of a team and contribute with my own strengths and abilities. We really have seen what we can accomplish when each person works toward a common goal. Yay us! :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Things I Love Now List

1. Bright colors!

Cool blues and warm corals.
And not just on nails. I'm loving bright maxi skirts, colorful high-low dresses and cute shorts. And I just may be stocking up for this summer. :)

2. Listening to my favorite throwbacks.

Remember bands like Yellowcard, Hoobastank and old skool Maroon 5 and songs like Kryptonite, Since U Been Gone, and Mr. Brightside? It's like a trip back to the good old days when life was simple.

3. These pictures...

I luvz bags, I luvz fashion, I luvz faces & I luvz Wii! - My cat

4. And this video...

Liesel's Birth from Tim Tabailloux on Vimeo.

A lot of my friends are pregnant, having babies, adopting babies, and loving on their babies. I especially liked this video by a friend from college (who is also our wedding photographer). I feel like it captures so much wonder and awesomeness in its short two minutes.

What are some of your favorite things right now?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Preparing for a Presentation on Journalism

On Thursday I'm presenting on journalism at my second annual Clinton Community College High School Career Day.

While I'm basically recycling my presentation from last year, I did make a few tweaks, including a new presentation. Say good-bye to PowerPoint and hello to Prezi!

The presentation is essentially the skeleton to my two pages of notes. Reading over it, I get excited about all the info I have packed into it. Now I'm hoping I have a few kids who are honestly interested in journalism and are not just there for a nap. :)

Here's an excerpt from my presentation on the future of journalism, something people always like to ask about:

The future of journalism is always evolving. In my opinion, there will always be a need for reliable news sources. Therefore, I don't think the presence of the news media will diminish, it will simply change. This means some positions will most likely be eliminated or combined in the future.

I see a hybrid position that includes writing, editing and technological support skills. I think this would look something like writing and editing your own stories, then uploading them to a news site for distribution. Ideally, editors should be maintained to guarantee that content is accurately presented, but if the job market doesn't improve, positions will be combined and/or eliminated.
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