Sky-Hi column: Getting our heads in the Clouds
May 8, 2013
My work desk feels like mission control center.
A desk computer, a laptop and a great-big computer monitor face me, and I'm shocked to admit I feel like I need them all.
It's been technology boot camp here at the Sky-Hi; all our heads are spinning with data center lists, naming conventions, DT Tags, shift-commands, glyphs, text macros, page trackings and things like DTI Web portals. Software windows and a tech language absolutely foreign to me 14 days ago are strangely growing familiar.
We're also learning the ins and outs and tricks of new hardware and a new email program.
I once thought I was organized keeping community contacts on paper in my spinny Rolodex, and appointments in soft-cover monthly planners. If a meeting were really important, I'd take a highlighter and yellow-in my pen scribble.
Now Goddess Outlook has cast a spell on me, and I find myself doing things like sending electronic meeting invites.
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THIS from a mountain girl who once lived in a tent for an entire summer and kept all her belongings in the back of a station wagon.
Even though I'm fumbling with keyboard shortcuts and a constant string of "how-do-I's" I am amazed at what all this new technology will do for us.
With this Cloud-based system, I could literally be at a coffee shop with WiFi in Kremmling, sipping on a decaf café au lait, producing the next day's edition. Meanwhile, a reporter could be at a meeting in Winter Park and place a story and photo directly on a page — right from there.
This new technology is so sophisticated, a copy desk in Summit County can lay out our pages while I see the work being done in real time. Not only that, I or anyone in the office can get into that layout at the same time and edit stories, correct and change headlines and styles, or add a caption to a photo. When a page is done and all the ads are on it, we here at the Sky-Hi can do a final inspection of it and see exactly how it will appear in print. We then have final control "routing" those pages to Gypsum, where one of the state's largest presses is situated with the capacity of spitting out 40,000 colored newspapers in an hour. Meanwhile, this new technology allows for stories and photos of the print edition to be routed to the website by simple clicks of the mouse. In the past, this step took at least four hours of someone's week.
Everyone has heard of the demise of newspapers. This new technology is a sort-of "in your face" to that notion.
It's a business model meant to free journalism professionals to write, edit and take photos.
With page layout off of our plates, which once commanded about 10 hours of my workweek as a reporter, writers and the photographer at the Sky-Hi should have more time to work a story, attend a meeting, edit a photo or cover an event.
We believe in community news, and the bold leaps we're making in the digital world ironically feed into what we do at its purest form: share, inspire and notify through pictures and the written word.
With that said…
We are still working out the kinks.
We're redesigning style elements for our print edition that didn't translate to the new software.
And since the Sky-Hi website is new, it is still a works-in-progress. Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd like to point out the "E-Edition" feature is more noticeable on our new site. This is a feature that was under-utilized on the old site. The E-Edition gives online users the chance to flip the pages of the newspaper as they would the print version. This feature allows you to cut out clippings and email them, save them and print them, or email, save and print full pages of the newspaper. There are options for zooming in and out to see content, all the way to as if you were holding the newspaper up to your nose.