The last six months have been pretty crazy. Our newsroom launched a social media-based newscast and it was met with a lot of interest from around the world. It's called U_News with Sarah Hill. The experience has been pretty remarkable... especially with Sarah's deep jump into the social media world. Her ability to interact and make rich contacts through these spaces have been impressive. The biggest challenge for us is continuing to grow and encourage our market to participate. U_News is proof that taking the web to broadcast is challenging when you are still following the traditional sales model of a newscast. I'm hoping the show will live on long enough for us to experiment not only with different ways to deliver news but to find different ways to help traditional broadcasters take the power of social and remain profitable.
For now, the show is a 30 minute program at 11am. We're adding "passwords" during the show to encourage viewers to drop the word on an assigned type of social media to win tickets or something cool. People sit in a Google+ hangout to discuss topics that matter to the local market and sometimes important topics from around the world. The show includes viral video, fun photos and serious news from the day. Hopefully we'll also continue to grow and change just like a social program can... organically.
I'm headed into a new semester with new students and new ideas. It will be interesting to see what kind of ideas they find for the show and for the industry.
In the last six months, I've had a chance to speak at a number of really fascinating events, speak personally with incredibly smart people and participated in communities and experiences that are mind blowing. I will do the best I can to try to document these experiences more on this site. I'm also blogging at Born Just Right, my #jenclass blog (along with its new #jenclass tumblr), weekly at Support for Special Needs.