HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
October 8, 2007, Herald Journal

The wonderful world of technology

By KRISTEN MILLER

My job description is expanding a bit in that I am forced to become much more technologically-literate.

The newspaper recently added blogs to our web site and the staff writers (me) are to contribute each day by discussing a new topic.

I don’t blog. At least I didn’t before. I don’t have the Internet at home and the only time I use it is when I’m Googling or surfing the web. I’ve never contributed my opinion to a blog.

Our webmaster defines blogging as a frequently updated, personal web site featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles on other web sites. Blogs range from personal to political and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.

Blogging will give members of the community an opportunity to discuss their opinions anonymously about certain topics.

It could generate quite the buzz around here. Of course, things should be true and whomever is the author (me, for example) can choose to delete any comments deemed unnecessary or inappropriate.

We will try to keep the topics local, but I think it’s worthy to discuss national or even international topics that affect us as well.

So now, I’m blogging and I’m OK with it. It’s actually not hard at all, but it’s the other stuff I’m trying to learn that is a bit intimidating.

Without having any prior web training, staff writers will begin putting our own stories on the web site.

My editor seems to think I am web savvy (not sure where she got this idea) so I will be one of the first to execute this task.

We never had to do this before because we had a wonderful web gal, Jessica Artibee, doing this job for us (Gob bless her soul). FYI, she’s leaving not dead, yet we will miss her just the same!

Now, we will have to do her job and I’m beginning to realize just how much she did behind that computer of hers.

Every Friday, when we were finished with our stories, Jess put them online. Now, in her absence, we writers will have to upload our own stories to the web site.

I’m sure I’ll do just fine after a few hundred times and a few hundred mistakes. My concern lies in making a bad move and crashing our entire web site. I’m not sure if this is even possible, but it is a worry of mine.

With the print versions of newspapers depleting, the web is an alternative way to go (job security). A person can already subscribe to the ED’s online version, which is the same as the actual paper.

Two years ago, the paper was still pasting. Now, we layout pages out on the computer and upload them to the press through the Internet. How quickly times change.