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So here at GMU we have this fantastic speaker today, Rob Curley who is an expert in the Internet and how it interacts with the the media, particularly newspapers. He is currently holding the position of the Vice President/New Media, Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive.

He is speaking on how to connect with the people and bring news into the new technological world.

I’ve showed up a little bit late, which was a pity, because it is very interesting.

We’ve already talked about why people go to the Internet (The four Ps – Passions, Practical, Playful, and Porn). He’s also covered some of the priorities of an online news-source.

We’ve looked at a small taste of the onBeing program as well.

One of the points is how to connect to your audience. “A high tech return to our [journalism’s] roots.” He talked about how contacting people and talking with them is the core of journalism. Bringing small town journalism to a large scale property like WaPo. Bringing a sense of wonder to a paper that is national.

Washingtonpost.com is one of the top ten news websites in the world. It is a strange property because it is both a local and national paper. “We’re a hometown newspaper, but the president lives in our town.”

He’s shown an excellent example of a multi-media report with the Teen Shopping at Tysons Corner story.

Curley has also recommended that you read the City Paper’s article on the conflict between WaPo and WaPo online, which I believe is this article.

“Mindset is more important than skill set.”

Curley has noted the shrinking size of newsrooms and how important it is to have more then one skills. Not just knowing flash or how to write, but both.

Hyper-local journalism in our world is the absolute minimum. Curley’s example was LoudounExtra.com He’s showing us now all these databases and relational information from the website. Evergreen content (content that is solid and is unchanging) along with living databases. Restaurant guide with all the specifics and the ability to search by time, seeing what restaurants are open right now. A “crazy” calendar with everything in it, from city council meetings to bible study meetings. It has the ability to update your cellphone live with game information. It distributes out to your iPod or cellphone – this way you can figure out where to get pancakes at two in the morning after drinking. Curley assured the audience that he knows that specific function worked. There are “godcasts” as well, church sermons as podcasts.

Community publishing tools grab related content from other sources like flickr, YouTube and Facebook.

Important (from before I went online):
>>Own niche related breaking news
>>Database Driven content
>>Multimedia overkill
>>Evergreen content (always useful)
>>Embrace platform independent delivery
>>A dialog not a monologue.
>>Build a website that works the way the Internet works, not just an old time publisher.

6 people built a huge local candidate database. Interactivity in the database is built in as well, allowing people to know who the candidates are, how they match up with the reader, and where they did well.

Covering Loudoun like a community, write like a WaPo journalist but for a local audience. A different sort of storytelling. Bringing world-class abilities to small town reporting.

He showed the importance of one person with multimedia abilities.

Now to move to SUB1 for one-on-one with Rob Curley himself.



  1. warriorwriter on Tuesday 4, 2008

    Great blog about a really interesting event. I linked to this post from my Blog post about Curley’s visit.


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