Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What about the Oilers?

I started this blog a month ago to gripe about being skilled in digital journalism (my broad description of stuff that works online to bring in readers). I work with people who still think government releases information if you just ask nicely, red headlines are advanced layout and no photos and videos is de rigueur.

I’m learning my newspaper is not as far behind as others. Cold comfort. I’m not able to use my skills where I am. Colder comfort. I can do what the big boys are doing. Glimmer of hope.

Competition is healthy. The Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun both update often with relevant local and carefully chosen high-profile stories, lots of videos and photo galleries, contests, up-to-date comments and special reports, blogs and lists of most popular news hits. Herald has optimized its website for mobile media, and it’s launching an online lifestyle challenge tomorrow. Popular subject. Sun has Sunshine girls. Popular subject.

The Herald appears to have an edge with social media. Only 75 Facebook fans, but it regularly updates posts with videos and photos submitted by readers, and it has 2,823 Twitter followers to receive its headlines. The Sun has 79 Facebook fans and no recent posts, and 327 Twitter followers.

They’re clean websites with a lot to offer. I’m a news junkie and gained a lot by hitting their sites.

Competition craps out in the provincial capital. The Edmonton Examiner hasn’t been updated in four days. Not good when you’re charged with the responsibility of reporting in Alberta’s political hub. Its caption-writing contest appears to have been abandoned. It has 554 followers on Twitter which it updates more often, and only 21 Facebook fans — generous considering it has stopped posting.

The Edmonton Journal is the sweeter dish with the same bells and whistles as its Herald sister, including the optimized mobile website. Ding! It promotes its social network accounts of staff and bloggers to follow their work. Coolest Facebook site I’ve seen yet with a travel contest and place for readers to contribute, like the top reasons to love Edmonton. More promotion for writers. It has 713 fans and almost the same number of Twitter followers as the Herald.

And I like it ’cause it’s the only one to follow the Oilers. Ding!

The Hyper Journalist


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