Help me help you

Nov. 03, 2013 @ 09:05 AM

This coming weekend will include the first “Weekender” edition of The Daily Courier. This, if you haven’t heard, means the end of our Saturday edition.

Luckily, our last Saturday edition (yesterday) featured a big spread recognizing the R-S Central Hilltoppers as the champions of Rutherford County football, so hold onto that one.

Moving forward, the change will place more emphasis on our online product. Since I started here in Rutherford County I’ve done my best to provide a quality online experience for county sports fans.

Our Facebook page, The Daily Courier Sports, has more than 1,300 likes and features links to prominent stories daily as well as hundreds of photos from live sporting events every week.

Now as a new supplement, The Daily Courier Sports has created a Youtube channel that features in-office preview and off-site interviews with players and coaches.

I’ve accepted the fact that most people won’t click on a link to a large article and actually read the entire thing. The only real responses that stories generate come from people directly connected with the person or school involved.  Photos are a very different story. They’re easy to process. They’re visually stimulating and it takes no time to look at several in sitting.

I’m one that loves a good photo. My favorite parts of Sports Illustrated or ESPN the Magaizine are the front sections that show incredible shots. My only issue with pictures by themselves, as I’ve argued with others in the newsroom before, is that they only carry significant weight and tell a story if you’re familiar with the person or subject matter.

I can look at pictures from Rutherford County events all day and enjoy them because I know the players, coaches and communities. But if you show me an album of photos from Lincoln County teams, I’m not looking. I don’t know those kids. I don’t know the community.

Now to reveal something I’m not terribly proud of; I’m not one to read an incredible amount. I know I’m a journalist and I should absorb just about anything I can get my hands on, but I like to absorb a lot in short amount of time. I’m young, impatient and just a product of my generation at times.

If I see a long chunk of text about something that vaguely catches my attention, I’ll pass. But if I see a video at the top of the story, I’ll watch. Now that video may not be as comprehensive as the story, but I’ll get what I need.

With that in mind, I’m developing different videos for our website, Facebook page and Youtube channel. If you haven’t discovered the video, I encourage you to check them out.

Keep in mind that I’m new to video editing and I have a face made for video and print, so these aren’t exactly produced by Warner Bros.

Again, the video aspect is new, but I’m honestly disappointed with the interaction  and response they have generated. I expected them to be a hug hit considering they feature and lighter, more fun option to getting local sports content. They even feature interviews with players as opposed to the usual “coach speak” we get from coaches in print article.

This is my plea for ideas and comments. Let me know what you like and what you don’t like. Let me know what you want to see, who you want to hear from and what you want me to ask them. Give it some actual thought and don’t just tell me you want more East, Central, Chase or Thomas Jefferson … I get that every day. I wish ESPN would talk more about the Panthers, but I know only Panthers fans share the same selfish sentiment.

Is there a player that you want to hear from? Is there an assistant coach with a great story? Is there a fan with an exceptional history with a school that deserves to be recognized? Chances are you know better than I do.

I want to build something that offers quality entertainment for everyone, but I need your help.