What does someone even write about every week? I don’t have trouble actually making things, but sometimes in stringing together all of the things I do make. Coherence I guess is a good way to describe it, and I hope using words will help me put some shape to my output. Considering this is a creative exercise year, I’ll start with a few things I’ve been doing at work.
Last week, as you may have heard, WABE changed its programming. Classical music moved to one of our streaming channels, and we launched two new shows, City Lights with Lois Reitzes, and A Closer Look with Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer.
Since we got a new director of digital, my job has been evolving from management (meetings, budgets, etc.) to work I enjoy more, basically making cool stuff and telling stories online. My title remains Digital Strategist, but I’m mostly focusing on content now.
That has meant I’m taking advantage of my long training in photography, producing videos, and conducting interviews. I look at it as content leadership, creating content to be held up as examples of ways to tell stories online. That in turn will help explain to management the value to be gained from taking advantage of the capabilities of the medium. We’re getting there, slowly.
Last week I wrote a “ten things to do around Atlanta” post. That ended up being our most popular post for three or four days. It was crazy traffic for something that took maybe a half-hour to write and publish. There’s been some disagreement. It is the Internet after all and everyone who doesn’t validate whatever the reader’s opinion is is obviously a stupid moron who should just go ahead and die. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I remain surprised at how easy it is to induce OUTRAGE online. Suggest on the Web that someone should visit the Varsity and see what a worthless human you are.
The photo intern program I started last year is going very well, especially now that I have time to focus on working with them. Ali Guillory and Brenna Beech have been doing very good work that let us change the way WABE’s front page looks (with help from AP photo wire), to a beautiful photo carousel instead of three static blocks.
The Christian Science Monitor wrote yesterday to ask if they could use one of Ali’s photos. That was a thrill for her, and for me.
Brenna and I went down to the state Capitol, where I coached her through a photography session with Ga. House Speaker David Ralston during an interview with Denis. I even got photo credentials to the state legislature. It’s been 15 years since I was a credentialed photographer. Time is a flat circle.
Like I told NPR last year (in my best ‘digital strategist’ voice), “Getting more and better pictures on the site is one of the easiest ways to increase audience engagement and add a digital incentive to enhance our broadcast coverage.”
And with ten more hours of arts talk on the air, I FINALLY get the opportunity to contribute my connections and long history in Atlanta’s art community to broadcast! On Monday I did a video interview with street artist Gaia on his new mural at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. That’ll air next week, with the air broadcast teasing to the website and video version of my interview.
Yesterday I did my first audio-only interview with Susannah Darrow of Burnaway, and next week I’ve got another scheduled with photographers at Jackson Fine Art. I’ve been pushing digital to radio contributions for years and thrilled to finally have the opportunity.
It also gives me the chance to learn audio. Sound hasn’t always been my strong suit and I’m excited to get better. Dave B. loaned me NPR’s “Sound Reporting” book and that should help.
Lois and I also produced a video explaining how to use WABE’s streaming channels. She is such a pleasure to work with, and always game.
That’s *most* of last week’s production. Is it enough? I’m also (re-) learning how to draw, with my fancy new Pencil from FiftyThree. That’s been super fun and gives me an excuse to pull out the comics.
We went hiking and fishing with the new neighborhood hiking club, and I maintained the happy family. I edited my 16,000-ish photos from last year down to 400, and that’s one step in getting the family photobook annual made (I have to change this production system).
When I put it all the output together, it seems like a lot. But then I guess it’s my personality to think that I’m never doing enough. That in turn is what keeps driving me forward, so I’ll take it.
Where is the satisfaction point? When is enough enough? Those are questions I’m still looking for the answer to. However, I do get to sit on the couch every night eating cookies and feeling content, so I really can’t complain.
Turns out, I think, that there really is no ‘done’. Everything is always in progress, and after so many years of doing things this way and having it eventually work out, I suppose that’s the way it’s going to be.