Friday, February 1, 2013

A very good first week

It's hard not to be impressed by the efforts of everyone on The Orion staff this first week of the semester.

The newspaper did a terrific job of updating readers on six weeks of campus news, rounding up events and putting them in context.

The website has had fresh content daily, with Dan Reidel doing an excellent job of choosing photos for the top-left rotation module.  The news and sports Twitter feeds now serve as a digest of the latest Chico and Chico State news on the right side of the home page, with reporters doing an excellent job of tweeting the news and getting brief stories on the site. The addition of shortened URLs to the tweets made the news even more accessible to both Twitter and website audiences. When news was breaking, the web team used a breaking news crawl at the top of the home page to alert readers.

The video staff also made an outstanding effort. The webcasts have more video stories more often than they did last semester, and the reporters and videographer are getting out onto campus to capture news. When word gets around about this evolution in the broadcast, I know a bigger audience will follow.

The web team also made a good start on using Facebook and Instagram in a way that drives traffic to, a sign that a well-thought-out social media policy is starting to take shape.

Advertising in the print newspaper is still lagging behind projections, but the ad staff did a better job than last semester of finding clients who want to advertise on the website. I'm hoping the new app will find a similar group of advertisers who understand the potential of reaching students on their mobile phones.

So, all in all, this was a solid start. It tells me The Orion, on all its platforms, is ready to make big strides.

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