Two days a week I’m the producer and host for the Statesman Journal online sports shows. A third I livestream a high school football game compete with CoverItLive chat.
So it’s a little sad to see 702.tv, a video project of the Las Vegas Sun, go down.
In the post at Poynterinked above, the Spokesman Review’s Colin Mulvany noted “I’ve never seen a newspaper-produced TV show on the Web that has ever been successful.” As much as it pains me to say so, me either.
At the Statesman I’ve produced two high school shows and a college show to go with the Friday night football and there hasn’t been one that has really taken off. Recently though I’ve had one project that has given me a little bit of hope.
This is our first year of incorporating CoverItLive into our high school football livestream. The first few weeks went by without much interaction at all outside a few people noting when the video or audio of the feed was having some problems.
The past few weeks (which not coincidentally I believe came with the two biggest games in our league this year) we have had a number of comments and questions and even, God forbid, commenters* talking with each other.
*Sorry for the Pozterisk, but I’m noticing that the WordPress spell-checker doesn’t like commenters as a word. Odd. Does it want commentators? That doesn’t seem like the right way to go.)
We still get zero questions on our high school and college sports shows, but this tiny bit of interaction has given me some hope that what we’re doing can take off. That there is a possibility that this is a way to bring the community out and together around athletics. Or at least drive up our pageviews and keep me in a job.
I received for Christmas the full Django handbook.
When I opened it my mom looked at me and said “I hope that’s that one you wanted because I have no idea what that is.”
Me and my wife refer to it lovingly as “The Geek Book.” It’s my little obsession. I’ve been running through the tutorials and examples on my computer at home and that handbook has been in my bag almost everywhere I’ve been this year. I take it to work and read it on my lunch breaks and take little looks at codes and concepts while I’m in line.
I finally finished the main tutorial the other week. The four-part series takes you through making a poll where they suggest you ask “What’s up?”
With zero styling at all (plain black text on a stark white html page) I got my two-choice poll to count every time I voted. For someone with almost no hand-coding experience (you can ask my college computer science teach – he’ll vouch for that) it was an amazing experience. I actually brought in my wife from the other room and giggled. I’m not proud of that. I’m sure making the noise I made in front of one’s spouse breaks one of those man laws the beer industry is built on, but I make no apologies. The damn thing counted.
Now I’m left with one question: What do I do with my new found knowledge?
Since my poll-success I’ve been trying to learn more about Django and how it can be useful to me as a journalist and just general information-giver. Should I build a better blog? Resource site for my wife’s business? What? Because I’m not going to learn anything reading code examples and making nodding gestures at my computer.
Wherever I go right now I still have that new-skill excitement. But that first question, “How can this be useful to me as a journalist?” is weighing pretty hard right now. I can’t imagine going to my job and saying “I built this great site! Here, host it, sell ads!”
But just from my early (dawn of man, hooting at the monolith early) exposure to Django, I think the real lesson is going to be how to look at information, how it relates to other sets and what is the best way to give that information out to make the most sense to everyone.