Archive for Blogging

Clip: Earthquake stops rides at Disneyland

Link: Earthquake stops rides at Disneyland

I was covering Disneyland and tourism news when a 5.4 magnitude quake shook near north Orange County July 29, 2008. After the Register’s north county bureau stopped shaking the staff split up to cover their respective beats and I headed out to Disneyland. The link above points to the blog post I wrote summing up the post-quake environment at the happiest place on earth. I covered the story live via my iPhone – e-mailing in images and information for the blog and main quake story.

Clip: For shorter lines, visit Disneyland early or late in the day

Link: For shorter lines, visit Disneyland early or late in the day

Something I learned through my work on the Around Disney blog is that user participation is key. Respecting the community and taking oneself off the old-world journalist pedestal is key. On the blog “Your Tips” was a key way of folding in user content. Nearly everyone who has visited a theme park has come up with a few tactics or tips they employ during visits. Disneyland visitors are at the center of this group. In the tip linked to above a reader shares tips on how to find short lines in theme parks.

Project: Around Disney blog

Link: Around Disney

Link: Sonya Smith’s posts on Around Disney

In March 2008 the technology reporter returned from maternity leave and I was moved over to the tourism beat while that reporter went on maternity leave. I was given a project: build a successful community around tourism news.

The blog I was given was called OC Resort. The highest month of page views was 10,000. The monthly average was 5,000. Many other websites had laid claim to the passionate and uber-passionate Disney fans. OC Resort was known only as a blog covering the politics of Disney and the city of Anaheim.

I was given five months and my goal was to reach 100,000 page views in a month while building a strong reputation and community. I tried all sorts of coverage hoping to find the right mix. The company bought me a Disney pass so I could visit the parks a few times a week. Every visit I chatted with tourists and walked the whole length of each park looking for any small changes or potential stories.

In my final month on the blog the blog received 92,000 page views – just short of my goal. But, the rest of my goal had been reached: I had successful relationships with the other Disney bloggers, the blog was covering not just the big Disney stories but the nuances to the park and its guests. User-generated content was found throughout the blog and comments were found on almost every post.

Today, the blog is covered by Sarah Tully and Mark Eades at the Register. The blog continues and the innovation continues.

Project: Mobile Moves

Link: Mobile Moves

I began covering technology in October 2007 when the Register’s technology reporter went on maternity leave. After a few months on the job, my editor Kevin Sablan and I began realizing the huge growth and future in mobile. After tossing several ideas around we settled on a crazy idea: to cover mobile applications. Mind you: this was December 2007. Apple did not allow apps to be developed for the iPhone until spring 2008. Sure mobile apps were around before the iPhone allowed them – but Apple made “apps” a regular thing. We were so early to the game that I was able to compile a list of all the apps in development at the time for the iPhone and Android operating systems.

After a few months, and when the tech reporter came back from maternity leave in early 2008, Register editors decided to end the mobile blog. I was moved over to work on sprucing up our tourism and Disney coverage.

Clip: iTunes ringtones playlists dance around real issue

Link: iTunes ringtones playlists dance around real issue

This is not your typical watchdog story – but a consumer story. Rather than regurgitating Apple’s press release on ringtones, I explained that it still did not meet the wants of its customers.