Shifting priorities

If posting gets a little light around here, it’s because a few projects are working their way toward completion. One is nearly finished (more on that within the next few weeks) and another I just made a big change to get started on in earnest. There’s a third that’s on hold for a few minutes, but I’m sure I’ll be picking it back up shortly.

Anyway, I’m sending you away so you come back for more, later, when things have settled down a little bit here on my overcrowded desk/desktop/brain/life:

  • The Fresno State Collegian online edition covered an off-campus shooting this week with breaking news updates, slideshows and video. Powered by WordPress.
  • I’m about halfway through News, Improved. If you’re any sort of edito, manager or publisher with any level of seriousness in you about training your employees for the future present, you really need to pick up this quick read. Look for the examples at your circulation level, and have at it.
  • The relaunched-on-the-fly Kiowa County Signal in tornado-ravaged Greenburg, Kansas has a map up where readers can “flag” the places they knew until last weekend.
  • On the mapping note, my colleagues at work have brewed up the beginning of something really cool for local search: Santa Cruz Spots. Maps+Reviews+Ratings = a really handy database. It’s still in beta, so feel free to kick it around and let me know what you think.

That’s it for now. Go away. Come back later.

What I’ve been working on all week

I’ve been working with a reporter for the last couple months to help him put together a set of multimedia projects to run with his centerpiece in today’s paper.

Here’s the proverbial fruits of our labor: two audio slideshows, a video, and a podcast, all complementing his print stories by taking us behind the numbers (standardized test scores in this case) and into classrooms and homes to find out what a local school (and a community) is doing to deal with the consequences of falling behind under No Child Left Behind.

No, there’s no big Flash interface with a green chalkboard background and a cool navigation scheme. Maybe next time. For now, I’ve been focusing on producing and editing the pieces, rather than wrapping them up in pretty trappings. That will come later…

I’m aware there are things you would have done differently, and I can guess what most of those are, and yet, I still would love some feedback on the project.

A progress report on the patient

The laptop, that is.

It’s back from the repair shop, taking a charge like it should, and as a bonus, the touchpad is fixed, which means I won’t get scolded on airplanes anymore for using my wireless mouse.

Audio and video still randomly decide when to stop working, but I didn’t ask anyone to fix that. When dealing with this sort of machine, you learn to choose your battles wisely. The bottom line, the beast is back, for better or worse.

Thanks Dave*.

One more thing — my previous post about the perils of purchasing a refurbished laptop is drawing some decent search engine traffic. I hope my warning isn’t going unheeded.

*My local computer repair shop of choice appears to do business without a website of its own, but I’ve never walked in and seen the place anything but bustling, replete with work in progress piled on the shelves. I guess there’s still something to be said for a sign on the street and word-of-mouth advertising.