Thursday, March 26, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends

Many thanks to those who commented about Twitter - some interesting ideas and I am paying heed. I just tweeted calling out for sources I'm in need of for a story on Marketplace about spring homebuying season. We'll see where this takes us... 

One person I follow is Chris Spurgeon. Not only because Chris is super awesome and always up to interesting stuff... but also because he has some really engaging ideas. 

Here's one that we were talking about the other night over dinner at HOME (gotta give a shout out to one of my favorite, dog-friendly dining establishments)... Chris suggested a rating system for news. The thought being that some days there is a bunch of important news... other days, there really isn't that much important stuff going on. Radio shows HAVE to fill a certain amount of time... newspapers have a certain number of pages to fill, but online... well, there aren't the same requirements. 

What Chris suggested was having a panel of experts, perhaps a rotating group, which would rate the news headlines. Based on a profile you created, you could specify what threshold of importance you wanted to be notified about. So, let's say that I'm only mildly interested in sports, but really interested in California politics -- I might ask that only sports stories rated at a 10 (eg Michael Jordan to launch new career as ice dancer) would be sent to me but political stories rated at a 6 or higher go through. 

I have NO idea how would make something like that work. But I think it's a really neat idea. 

And in totally different news... I was at CRUMBS bakeshop today to pick up some birthday treats for a dear friend. That place is truly remarkable and very very dangerous. I look forward to trying out some Cherry Blossom and Peanut Butter Banana cupcakes later tonight!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Moving on to new media

Thanks to everyone for all their lovely comments about Day to Day's final days... (and DEFINITELY buy a t-shirt from SMASH if you can!)

It's Monday. And though I miss NPR and all my amazing colleagues, I gotta say there is something REALLY nice about not waking up at 4:30 am (something I had to do every day for the past two years). 

Of course it helps that it's lovely and sunny here in Los Angeles... perfect weather for sitting in the backyard with the pups - and getting right back to work. I'm currently working on a story for NPR and KQED's The California Report  about an independent, nonprofit online daily news source called Voices of San Diego. And really, the timing couldn't be better... 

Journalism is changing. It's scary and as I can easily attest, sometimes it's very very sad. But it's also exciting... I firmly believe that this is an era in which new ways of storytelling can thrive. In fact, that's something I hope to be learning more about when I travel up to Berkeley in a few weeks for a weeklong workshop at the Knight Digital Media Center. I am very excited to learn some new skills... including, gulp, video. (note, there's a reason i've done radio all these years - cameras frighten me - but it's time to be bold!)

Part of our pre-workshop homework is to analyze some of the new forms of media. And there's a lot out there to get really excited about... But, and I hate to sound like a Luddite, there's some of it I still just don't get. 

For instance Twitter. I'm on there. And I tweet. occasionally. but i can't help but feel like the world really doesn't want or need to know what I'm up to all the time... I guess I'm not feeling alone on this one, coz today I discovered this gem.

Disagree with me? please do! tell me what I should be tweeting. and why!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Day After... Day to Day

The last day of the show was incredibly fun. My colleagues did an AMAZING job of putting the final broadcast together. I especially want to thank Steve Proffitt for his behind the scenes look at the show and Nihar Patel for producing the interview with one of my writing heroes - David Seltzer. 

What you won't be able to hear though, is the amazing celebration that happened at NPR West. People I haven't seen in a long time, including former Day to Day Staffer Luke Burbank, showed up. EVERYBODY brought food -- amazing food! There was a cake in the shape of a hamburger, lemon bars, crossaints, freshly baked quiches, strawberries the size of a small child's head... 

I kept thinking it felt like a wedding. There was so much love (and so much food!) and the time flew way too quickly. 

We were all wearing t-shirts my awesome colleague Sarah Spivack had made for us at SMASH (thanks for the fine work Mike Draper!). They were grey and said Day to Day on the front and on the back it says "WAS a production of NPR News with contributions for Slate dot com."

And if you are familiar with how the show ends... you'll hear it was a bit different yesterday. And that was a very last minute decision. A bunch of folks had congregated outside the studio, we invited them all in and at the last minute, decided to do the ending with all of us in unison. 

I can't think of a better way to end the show.

I already miss ya D2D... and I look forward to hearing what all my talented friends there come up with next.....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hi! It's My First Blog!!

It's March 19th, 2009. And the show I've been working on for the past two years - NPR's Day to Day - is about to come to an end. It's feeling a bit like the end of summer camp. It's sad, and I've been crying a LOT lately and I hate saying goodbye to all my friends. 

BUT... I know it's time to move on now. And I know I'll see these amazing people again. And, as scary as it all is (and it IS scary, especially in this economy), I am tremendously excited about starting this new chapter of my life. 

What is this mysterious new chapter of which I speak? I'm not entirely sure. There are some exciting possibilities out there and I expect to be on the radio again VERY soon. Sorry I can't say much more than that at present.... but hey, now you have something exciting to look forward to, right? 

In the meantime, I hope to relish every last moment of these final few hours. Stay tuned!