Local TV news is, perhaps even more than other in the media business, a ratings game.
That’s a distinct takeaway I had, leaving NBC Philadelphia headquarters on City Line Avenue after the latest local ONA meetup featured the affiliate’s web strategy and news direction. More than 50 journalists, NBC 10 representatives, bloggers, freelancers and other media representatives had Yuengling and pretzels before seating in the 10! Show studios. The event was well-planned, well-run and well-received — though this writer is one of the local group’s organizers, outside of promotion, this event was entirely organized by NBC 10 social media editor Lou DuBois.
The event featured video clips from the WCAU station’s long history, presentations on the affiliate’s web and mobile strategies and then a panel Q&A session featuring the station’s tech trends reporter Vince Lattanzio, its consumer reporter Tracey Davidson and its weatherman Hurricane Swartz, moderated by social media editor and event organizer DuBois, who did a smashing job. It was a distinctly different (and so thoroughly compelling) event than our group’s other two programmed events like this, one with the Philadelphia Media Network and the other with public media outfit WHYY.
The Ask the Mayor event — prompted by NBC 10 social media hire Lou Dubois and Bell — was unique, interesting and compelling. NBC 10 deserves credit for only sharing a single softball question — about cheesesteaks, of course — and Nutter and his team deserve praise too for participating in something new and relatively open. It was clear and admirable that Nutter hadn’t been prepared for the questions.
Granted, none of those questions amounted to public affairs journalism, but many did seem to represent the perspective of Philadelphians. Watch the five video segments of the event here or watch the first below and see what I learned about Nutter watching them.
It’s a small, though clever, effort, and I appreciate being called among a select group of people locally highlighted as worth following on Twitter.
It’s a diverse group that is still changing, but the list is an interesting way to curate a list of people following, sharing and commenting on the goings-on of the city. I’ve always hoped to offer real value online and plan to keep doing just that.
It also helps that it’s a built-in community of people with communities online to share and drive traffic, audience and, perhaps, action.
On the 20 portion of its site, NBC 10 will use tweets from the list members to add perspective to local events, yes, like my amusement at the national conference of the International Cat Association. I’ll strive to offer some relatively more valuable information too.
I appreciate greatly the notoriety and impressive company.
A couple months ago, I announced I had moved my honors thesis to a subdomain of this site for the sake of organization and archiving. Following up on that resolution to make more tidy a rambling online portfolio, I have brought another dated, collection of work of which I am proud under this house.
See all the Episodes here and all the Archives here. Go and explore.
A few things interested me from my work in 2006:
Short, bad titles — The post headlines were all short and sometimes not even descriptive. I didn’t recognize then the importance.
I wrote a lot — I far outpaced all of my fellow castmembers in output, which is great, but I could have made much of the content terser and more straightforward.
I actually had comments — On many posts, I had a handful of comments. I haven’t transferred them… yet.
I never linked — I didn’t have a single link to a past post.
Photo albums, not in posts — Photos and the video episodes were never embedded. This is the one major change I’ve made, by incorporating them.
Yes, I called posts ‘blogs’ — But that was 2006. What’s the excuse today?
I learned and experienced so damn much — I interacted with an audience and explored and created multimedia, but ultimately, I was just a young kid learning. ..And what a clear stepping stone toward the WDSTL podcast I did while in Western Europe.
But, in helping to organize getting my boss on air, I took a train to New York yesterday (with time to eat) and, I’ll admit, it was certainly cool watching the hundreds of people shout toward the NBC morning show hosts, including Matt Lauer, who, was, you know, like, just walking around me.
Even if you don’t particularly care about the little guy in the suit, it’s interesting when a couple thousand people around you do.
I sent in a two minute video to NBC’s Manhattan headquarters in June 2006. It was an altogether last minute decision. I saw the promotion of the pilot season of an NBC show called ‘Junior Year Abroad’ in an email that came from the communications department of Temple University. I decided there wasn’t anything to be lost.
Not a month later I heard back. After a brief interview and legal semantics, I was offered a spot on the show. I was driven to New York City for an introduction and training, given several hundred dollars worth of equipment and had my semester studying in Japan essentially paid for by a corporation. During my five month stay, I filmed 10 hours video, took more than 1,300 photographs and wrote nearly 60,000 words on my experience in Asia. It offered me a world of knowledge, the only cost being a more passionate desire to see and explore more while I was abroad.
Ten, in all, young college students from across the country, traveling to different parts of the world were selected, as seen above, the only time we met.
The NBC crew used my footage to produce five show-specific pieces, which you can see below, in addition to another seven podcasted videos while I was living in Tokyo, which you can see here.
During the fall semester of my junior year in 2006, I studied in Tokyo, Japan, using photographs, video and a blog to chronicle my nearly six months there. I was prompted to take 1,300 photos, capture almost 10 hours of video and write nearly 60,000 words because I was a cast member on the pilot season of an online-only show produced by NBC. Since the show was never picked up or continued and its Web site has since been taken offline, follow my exploits here, below.