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So this is an experiment. I am the managing editor of a biweekly newspaper. Freezertroll is the IT guy that makes things happen for three newspapers, including the one I work for. Freezertroll is Jeremy Lackey.

I’m newscoma, also known as Tracy Sharp among some circles.

Rural newspapers are an odd breed. We haven’t had to deal with a lot of the craziness that goes on at larger syndicate newspapers with the explosion of Internet news, but then on the other hand, the time is finally come where we are having to pay attention. The thing that Freezertroll and I determined is for rural news, there has either been a dismissal of the idea that the Internet would impact us by the Web, and, alas, some fear which we get to later.

But then we realized that this was half the battle. So, as this is my first post here, I want to say we are going to document the transition from a small, non-friendly website to establishing a presence on the web. We also determined that there needs to be a marriage (I know, yucky word) between the knowledge of techs about websites, and making an on-line newspaper more friendly to the newsroom. We are going to give updates of how this works between a tech who is smitten with CSS code and how things work, to a managing editor who doesn’t have all the knowledge but knows change is in the air and it’s up to a newsroom, no matter what the size, to adapt to the changes in digital media.

Troll is the wise one.

I am the carnival barker who runs one of the papers trying to get things off the ground and taking a whupping a day in attempting to educate folks of the things that we are doing.

We realized for our efforts to be successful that we had to come together because we both have a valuable role. And because we work for a small family-owned group of newspapers, it was up to us with the backing of our publishers, to make something happen. There are no consultants and much of the time that we’ve been developing this over the last few months, there has been little time as our regular duties must still be met.

This experiment is to show a couple of things. What rural media goes through and how we are trying to meet the challenge to stay competitive.

This should be fun, or at least intriguing.

You could say we are documenting the atrocities. We also want some feedback and are going to keep up this on-line diary to let you know how it goes.

So grab a feed, sit back and throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave and tell us what you think.

So, let’s get busy.



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