Big things for 2011

I've had a chance to wrap up 2010 with a great group of students followed by an awesome winter break with the family. We celebrated the holidays with both sides of our family (we held a mini-Christmas with my husband's side of the family followed by the full thing with my side). We also got to take the kids to Disney World for four days. It was awesome... and when cell phone connections were working properly, I had a chance to pick up a few Gowalla stamps of the parks and some of the rides. (I was bummed I couldn't connect inside the Magic Kingdom where they had a holiday-only Cinderella's Castle stamp.) I did snag a stamp for all four parks... and one of my favorite rides, Toy Story Mania.

I also tried to play with the many items you can collect and trade in the game. All in all, most spots had dozens of Mickey hats. Once you collected a hat, it was tough to find many others. In the end, I collected a Mickey hat, a hitchhiking ghost, a tour bus and a partner statue. I had hoped to find some extra surprises with the park's Gowalla experience, but maybe because I had a hard time with my AT&T service, I didn't find it.

Now that I got to enjoy my fun and games, it's time to get back to work. I'm co-teaching a class on campus that is known as the journalism for non-journalism majors class. My partner in crime, Jake Sherlock, and I plan to bring as many perspectives and views of the industry as possible. I have a great group of students signed up for my capstone class and I'm fleshing out some great projects for the students. My newsroom is also working on launching a new content management system. This is a really exciting change for us!

I'm also planning on attending at least three conferences this year: SXSWi, BlogHer bet and BlogHer '11. I'm trying to take some of my journalism focus and look at the many new ways I can expand it. I have so many students who are learning their core skills can be used in many non-traditional ways. I hope I can arm myself with more knowledge to help guide them beyond the newsroom experience. So while I'm working on teaching and helping run the KOMU news, I'm hoping to continue to expand my views. It's challenging to see everything out there if I'm just in the newsroom working with in a more traditional setting. Luckily I work in an environment that allows me to try to innovate.

So, grab your thinking hat and join me while I try to figure out how we can take all this vast knowledge of the changing world and spread the word. My first step towards that goal is helping launch a Social Media Club in our town. I'm looking forward to helping share knowledge in my community and helping grow a more converged alliance of people in my area who understand the growing power of how communication and sharing is changing!