Why don’t archivists digitize everything?

Fascinating. Inspiring and daunting.

Archives @ PAMA

20170529_124550[1]


Today on the blog we’re tackling one of our most frequently asked questions: “Why don’t you digitize everything?” and its related runner-up, “When will you be putting all your records on the web?”

As archivists we like these questions because they tell us that people are eager for access to archival records. They also show that people realize that not everything is digitized. Indeed only a tiny fraction of the world’s primary resources are available digitally. This doesn’t mean that undigitized records are inaccessible or not worth consulting, but you will need to visit us archivists to use them.

In fact, archivists and librarians themselves are behind the abundance of primary sources already available on the internet. From rare books to official records and from diaries to sound recordings, digitized resources have spread the word (literally) that the past informs our present and our future. In the meantime, both non-profit and commercial organizations whose…

View original post 2,500 more words

Award-winning videos from 2016

A video I shot and co-produced with Pueblo Chieftain reporter Peter Roper won second place in the multimedia category of the annual Better Newspaper Contest at the 2017 Colorado Press Association convention. “Remembering Hiroshima’s Empty Streets” featured World War II U.S. Army veteran Bruce Elson recounting his experiences in the Japanese city of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb explosion that helped end the war. The video was edited in Adobe Premiere CC.

I also edited “Columbus Day: Pride & protest in Pueblo,” which won second place in the breaking news video category and was shot by reporter Jon Pompia. The video was edited in iMovie for Mac.

I’m also proud to add that The Pueblo Chieftain was named Best Website-Daily in its category!

Now I Know: WordPress page template customization and more

I learned a lot about customizing WordPress Page templates over the past week while making some changes requested by our advertising team to their dedicated contact form.

We use a self-hosted WordPress site, with lots of help from the aptly named Formidable plugin, to give us flexible and powerful responsive contact forms, for everything from news tips to letters to the editor and more. (In the past, we’ve even used this to collect votes for the annual Best of Pueblo ballots, but our promotions team is using a third-party partner’s tool for that now. It’s OK … really.)

Back to the project at hand: Our business development manager wanted a more dynamic, and eye-pleasing, alternative to the functional but boxy form page they had before. A particular challenge was not only rotating between multiple photos, something I had to learn how to do (but has taught me a lot more about PHP, and storing and using variables, than I’ve managed to learn on my own impetus so far; can some programming progress be far behind?), but then using CSS to impose the form itself, generated by a Formidable shortcode, on top of the image.

The result (click for live example):

reach-more-customers

The only actual content in the WordPress “Page” is the Formidable shortcode; everything else, from the headings and randomized background images to the promotional copy and “FAQ” links below, is hard-coded onto the custom Page template file. I may alter that eventually, but for now I was looking for maximum control to meet the “client’s” desired specifications — and I needed it fast. The content of the Page isn’t expected to change much, if at all, ever.

Fortunately, I’ve become quite familiar with child themes over the last year with my work on Nerdvana, so I know my new Page template customizations are safe from future parent theme updates. (I wish “child plugins” were a thing — I haven’t figured out the best way to update-proof plugin customizations, but that’s another matter entirely.)

Shout-out to my digital media/graphic design intern Severino Martinez from Pueblo Community College (soon to be Colorado State University-Pueblo) for help optimizing these beautiful background images in PhotoShop for this project.

Pueblo’s Pokemon potential

As the Pokemon Go phenomenon catches fire across the globe, Pueblo is not immune to its charms. Businesses all over are trying to capitalize on the fact that they’s suddenly become PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms. A few spots around town are emerging as Pokemon points of interest.

BINGO!

Pueblo’s Bingo Burger is near a PokeStop (a place where Pokemon Go players can replenish their supplies of items like Potions and the all-important PokeBalls used to catch virtual critters). But Bingo Burger isn’t just hoping that passing players will become patrons after using the PokeStop — they’re actually offering a 10% discount off your meal if you show them your Pokemon (something I wish I’d known before I bought yesterday’s lunch).

THE WILD …

The Pueblo Zoo is getting in on the act, too, posting a few screenshots of the augmented-reality game’s virtual Pokemon creatures mingling with the mooses, African painted dogs, owls and North American river otters on their Facebook page — and adding that non-member visitors can show the cashier that they have the Pokemon Go app on their phones to get $1 off the price of admission.

But, wait — there’s more! The paperboy statue right in front of The Pueblo Chieftain office at 825 W. Sixth St. is a PokeStop, too — so you can conveniently resupply whenever you have business here.

Next stop: wherever you say …

What can we in the print sphere learn from public radio’s ‘internet’ moment?

Recently it was fascinating — and, I’ll admit, a bit entertaining — to watch public radio news insiders publicly struggling over the same digital media dilemmas those of us in the newspaper industry have faced for so long. Continue reading “Next stop: wherever you say …”