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Media adventures have kept me away for a while

March 29, 2010

According to my Linkedin profile, it’s been 33 days since my last blog post. It’s been that kind of month. I’ve been busy. I’ve lost some blood and some sanity in the process. But I think the clouds are breaking.

The main culprit has been an evaluation I’ve been managing since November of a Thomson Reuters Foundation business journalism training program for African journalists. The final report of findings, a beast of over 90 pages (appendix not included) came due this past week, and it was a multi-week sprint to the finish to get this thing done. Many personal envelopes were pushed in the making.I should probably devote at least a post just to this evaluation later. My goal today was just to get back in the water.

While I was away, I moderated a panel at the Policy Making in the Digital Age conference at Columbia University, which prompted me to write this post to get the digital age policy juices flowing (doubling as my last post before this unintended hiatus). I started to write a post after the panel and then disappeared into a vortex of deadline.

However, at least one good came out of the conference for me, if not more. I was introduced to someone who needed her company’s Web site to be customized a bit, which secured some Web work for me, and gave me a chance to meet someone in marketing and communications in New York City. Given that she isn’t really publicizing her Web site right now, I won’t speak in specifics yet, or link to it at this time. But, it has been a chance to hone and refine some of my HTML, CSS, and javascript skills.

Another piece of good news is that my research on Bolivia media education needs, after the potential disaster that it seemed it could become as I kept running head first into walls, finished a success. I’ve been researching media education needs in a bunch of developing countries, including Bolivia, for the European Journalism Centre as a part of the Press Freedom 2.0 program they are building. This research has been called “better than being there”–as in, “We went to the country to meet with stakeholders, and we actually learned more from your research”, which is one of the best compliments I think I’ve ever received.

Speaking of EJC, they are flying me out to Utrecht to meet with them and Internews-Ukraine this weekend. Internews-Ukraine is at the half-way point of the new media training program that I have consulted on and conducting training for last summer. They are going to Utrecht to brainstorm on what they will do for the second year of the program, and to interact with Western news media professionals. I’m going to help them think through and strategize. Can’t wait.

Finally, I’ve been working on a political campaign to elect Bryan Allen to the Pennsylvania State Senate in the 6th district, Bucks County. I’m leading the campaign’s Web strategy, including designing his campaign Web page (done under serious time constraints–I’m happy with it, but feel I could have done more with more time), his Facebook page, and his monitoring of news media and keywords. I’m also about to embark on a Google Adwords campaign, once we refine our keywords to target. This has been a fascinating process, to say the least. We get a lot of coverage on the news about national election campaigns, but most politicians are local, and we don’t really get a lot of views into what that’s like. I’m sure there will be blog posts to follow.

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