I have been busy on other blogs, but absent from my own of late… for a number of reasons. Let’s see… among them:
1) my wife and I are buying a house, which has been something out of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” – really, we weren’t planning on it, but it did, and now we’re in the process of purchase and sale, and inspections, and oh yeah, selling our own house. All very cool – but not very convenient.
2) at work, at NECN we have launched a few new blogs, including New England Gardener (the name is pretty self-explanatory) and Biz Day Buzz (the blog of our “Business Day” show, plus we are trying to play with a little new technology, maybe finding a way to incorporate simpler video blogs via Flip cams into our daily work.
3) I’m trying to get some bike time, because I have decided to ride in the 2009 Pan Mass Challenge. Considering in March my back decided to protest and went out for about a week, I’m a little nervous – but the PMC has two great motivators. One is its noble and important mission – the other is that once you commit, you’re in for the minimum donation of $4200. That’s wonderfully inspirational. You can follow my progress there on yet another NECN blog, teamnecn.com.
and 4) Despite my relative inexperience in the blog development world, I am trying to dip a toe in the water of giving NECN community members a chance to look at news in a different way, with a blog called News Chowder. The business-minded side of me knows that I should actually turn over the development to people who know what the heck they were doing. But I want to try to figure this out, both because it is a good learning experience and because it serves as an important measure of just how easy it is to build a New York Times “TimesWire”-like site for a news operation, but one which could incorporate story ratings and comments where it makes sense. It’s definitely a work in progress, and not quite ready for public rollout yet. (A visit to newschowder.com brings you to a site maintenance page that I will take down soon.)
Reality – the more I work on it the more I feel like I’m not really breaking too much new ground. But I am hoping that setting up a news stream will give people an easier way to check back on a regular basis and see what is new, plus give us a much simpler way to post developing news in a more appropriate place. NECN.com as it stands now is a finished product site – driven by video, which makes sense for us as a TV news operation. But its design doesn’t do as great a job for text-only or short updates of stories.
But at some point soon, I’ll take down the curtain and let people peer inside. I’ve got NECN stories feeding into the blog, as well as posts from the NECN blogs. Still working on things like tag clouds and image imports – but I’m getting there.
You’ll also note a certain similarity to Yankee 2.0 – I mean, hey, I found a theme I like in StudioPress’ Streamline theme. So I’m running with it again. It’ll evolve, I’m sure, as I figure it out.
But while I build – a question. What would you like to see from your local news site? Pick a suggestion. Any suggestion. Let me know in the comments. I can’t promise everything – but I promise I’ll try.
Or if you don’t have just that much inspiration – throw some site suggestions out there. Pick a site you like and say why you like it. Then we’ll see if a guy with minimal skills can create something you want to visit.