Chuck's Q Blog

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Just another ICM blog

News in the age of augmented reality

In the last 30 years, the newspaper industry has moved from typewriters to laptops, from “hot” type to “cold” and from black and white to color photos. It’s now in the process of moving from print to digital, which is what I intend to make my primary topic for this course.

I’ve experienced the other changes over the last three decades and I’m on the front line of the next change.

During the recent economic downturn, many newspapers shed jobs to keep the doors open. It didn’t always work. Many closed; others cut staff and tried to make a living online.

One thing they all tried to do was keep their content in front of as many readers as possible. That meant expanding online operations, going mobile and getting into social media.

As part of the Web team at Dispatch.com, I’ve encountered all of those aspects. I’m constantly trying to learn about new tools and how they might be applied in our operation.

Over the last few years, I’ve developed a knack for spotting interesting digital trends.

I didn’t invent podcasting, but I saw its value in the early days and launched a show — a first for any newspaper. I set up Twitter and Facebook accounts for the paper as experiments long before most of my peers became interested in them. They’ve both slowly gained a following.

Many publications are using these tools today as alternate avenues to deliver news or bring more readers to their websites.

So, what’s on the horizon?

I’m still trying to figure out how to get us involved in foursquare, I think QR codes could be an overlooked gem and augmented reality seems like it could a transformative engine. I hope we’ll finally decide to adopt CoveritLive soon and I wonder if there’s a place for a Tumblr or Posterous blog in our toolbox. I’m also really excited about the prospects of using the iPad in publishing — maybe not for the daily product, but certainly for niche publications our company produces.

Our company doesn’t have someone assigned to “bird-dog” new tools. As we grow, I’d like to be that guy and I hope my blog entries will help make that happen.

Category: #506DE

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One Response

  1. oldtvnewsguy says:

    No surprise here, Chuck, about your topic. And that’s as it should be. You have made yourself an expert on all the new delivery platforms for news and information and I would be interested in your take on any new ways technology/Internet is being used in the commission of journalism.

    Somehow you have been able to embrace all the changes to the news industry, while too many of us have been fighting them. You’ve certainly earned the right to write about this topic.

    I hope you might spend some time examining the journalism written on the new pathways, not just the fact that cool new programs/websites have been developed. That is, are Facebook and Twitter really important and worthwhile news tools/platforms day in and day out, or only rarely? Yes, Twitter was used effectively when Capt. Sully landed in the Hudson but that was from non-journalists. 99% of the time journalists fill Twitter with drivel, like David Gregory’s ham sandwich lunch plans.

    Have Facebook and Twitter actually added any readers to a newspaper, in print or online? Are any papers making any money from FB and Twitter?

    I look forward to learning from your blog entries.