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Specs In, Prioritizing What’s Next June 26, 2007

Posted by newscoma in Newscoma Files.


Yesterday (June 25, 2007), we got our first specs in from our software company. I was pleased although it needs a great deal of adjusting to make it more what we want. The original concept that Freezertroll and I came up with was followed pretty well although it does need some tweaking. The biggest obstacle I’ve had is trying to explain why so much time is needed to get the process going.

Now that it’s going, I find myself constantly explaining. Although some folks may not think it’s necessary, I’ve take a few employees at a time to show them what’s going on, and why time is needed to fulfill some of the obligations and work on her side of the fence. So far, when my employees see what we are up against, they are barrelling though and seem to be excited by the final outcome.

Another issue is that I’m dealing with newspaper folks (heck, I’m one) and they want to speak of the project as if it were a broadsheet piece of newsprint. This is going to get more folks in trouble. Ad sizes are not column inches, as you on-line gurus already know. I’m having some issue explaining that you think of the news in the same way, but you take into consideration this is new ground (for our papers at least) and the presentation is a whole new ballgame.

I find a spend a great deal of time educating, but I think that’s my role at this point. If I can’t communicate the project well, then how can I expect people to get excited about it. Sometimes I feel like I’m juggling wombats.

The beauty of the software we’ve chosen is that it works on a platform similar (albeit much more complicated) to blogging. For my employees and coworkers that blog, they will most likely have an easier time understanding what we are doing. For those who are not as internet savvy, I find they are a bit more opinionated on the final product, but they don’t understand how it works.

And, with some folks, there is no arguing. They just don’t like it or they don’t want to listen about the new developments. That’s okay. The owners/publishers will have to take care of that.

My other concerns are maintenance once it’s up. And although I’m taking notes and getting together a proposal, I am having to take into consideration that this is extremely important. We had over a million hits on our last website, which quite frankly, wasn’t very pleasing to the eye. The problem was not many people came back and it wasn’t maintained. Remember, we are a rural newspaper dealing with technology that our owners didn’t initially think we’d have to. But digital online news media is beating on everyone’s door, so we are moving quickly although it could be debated we should have done this years ago.

I am discovering, being an old newspaper hack, that if you don’t give them something to come back to, they won’t.

We are working on that as well.

The next two weeks are crucial.




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