First off this Friday, thank you. Your kindness to my post Thursday of no blog was very much appreciated. I’m feeling much more human today.
Enough, anyway, for a Friday post of random thoughts with one caveat: No politics.
Here we go:
— For a guy who makes his living on the internet I sure am a klutz about it.
Been meaning to post a Facebook invite for an open house in October. I had never done one of those before and it seemed oh so easy, until I did it and realized it had a bunch of mistakes and when I tried to fix them and couldn’t I panicked and canceled the whole thing.
That’s why people are commenting on my Facebook page about a event that has a big CANCELED slashed through it. I’m nothing if not classy.
I’ll get back to you on the open house. Keep the date: Oct. 7. Details still to come.
— Some of my former editors would be shocked to learn I do this every day. No one at the newspaper fought harder at joining the 21st century than me.
I was walking through the newsroom one day and the editor wanted to know why I didn’t know about a major national news event that had taken place. He demanded to see my phone, knowing it was the flip variety.
“Get a real phone,” he growled at me.
Then newsrooms shrunk and editors wanted reporters to take photos. Just my style, if immovable objects are Page 1 material. Actual photographers would look at my smartphone photos and always say the same thing: “You’ve gotta get closer!”
Yeah, but those guys had real cameras with long lenses. I’m using the camera from a Motorola phone bought in a panic on Election Day. I'm thrilled with anything that’s in focus. (And isn’t that a cool photo of a deer in my backyard?)
— Sizing photos, ye gad, another obstacle. People kept telling me I needed photos with a minimum width of 1200 pixels so that Facebook would pick it up as the main photo off of the blog. I have no clue what the last sentence means. I don’t know pixels from Pinochle, but I do know what happens when the photo isn’t 1200 pixels.
It was hit-and-miss every night. I never measured the pixels, just slapped the photo in. When the blog link was posted to Facebook, if the photo didn’t meet its pixel minimum, it picked up the first thing on the blog website that did, and that was usually a Kevin Cunningham-sponsored real estate ad.
Anyone with an ounce of computer sense is laughing now, but this seriously led to numerous late-night meltdowns. I actually let one go just as it was, with the Cunningham ad, because the post was about those losers who try to convince others to boycott businesses because of the owners’ opinions. Readers may think I was being clever when in truth it was that or slow death.
I told a friend one day about an absurd photo I ran of my kitchen faucet because of this problem, and she said, “Just make sure the photos are 1200 pixels. That’s all you need to do.”
And dang if she wasn’t right.
I still don’t understand pixels. But I need 1200 of ‘em.
— In fairness to former editors Brad Bautista and Mike Arnold, I wasn’t a pleasant person with the move to reporters posting our own stories.
You need to understand how this always worked. I’d write a story. Hit send. Go home.
That’s it. The process takes about 8 seconds.
In the last 10 years that all changed. With newspapers focusing on a web identity, reporters began posting their own stories and all the formatting that goes with it. As a group, we are not techno-brats, which is why our instruments are a pen and notepad. Simpler the better.
Now it’s what I do every day. It’s still time-consuming but worth it. Even for an online klutz.
There's your Friday. Pretty sure I have that part right. Enjoy the weekend, friends.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.