Thursday, December 29, 2011

Learning the lingo outside my comfort zone

The new News10 @9 a.m. show is starting in a couple of days and the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of learning new stuff.

Watching a show develop from concept to an on-air production, if you've never seen it done before, is like being sent to live in a foreign country. You don't get the language and you feel like you're in the way instead of being productive -- but at the same time it's cool.

We went from nothing to ordering furniture for the set, lights and technology to make the show happen.  I've watched them put together a chroma wall, set up various monitors and have heard rumors of a virtual router that apparently is going to blow me away with how cool it is as I'll be able to control 25 different things at once.  Really, when they tell me this, I'm not exactly sure what it is or how I will operate it.  They could be speaking Japanese and I would have the same comprehension.  But the head engineer is very excited about this bit of technology so I smile and nod. 

I'm sure after the first day I'll look at it and go, " I get it." But until then, it's just words in the air that aren't connecting.  Kind of like the French children songs I learned growing up. I could sing along, but didn't know what I was singing until years later.

Until then I'm listening and memorizing everything -- and I mean everything.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shape shifting into a new frontier

I’m a bit of a career shape-shifter. Some people, like my step dad, knew what they wanted to do back in high school and then stayed with it for 40 years.  That's not me.  I'm the opposite and am always on the move. Literally.

In the last five years I've lived in Toronto, Memphis, Houston, Tampa and Sacramento. Each city has been a blast and I've made amazing friends in each of them.

My career has been just as moldable, making it impossible to have a five year plan as I have no idea where I'll be living -- let alone what I'll be doing where ever I am.

However, I do know two things: I'll be working and I'll like what I'm doing.

Over the last decade, I've been evolving from a traditional print journalist, to a digital journalist, to a social media news strategist.  I have no idea how it happened, but it did and I love the fast-pace and constant change. Of course, I still write my sci-fi stuff and other fun writing in my spare time (can never give that up), but as news and media have moved into the interactive sphere, so have I.

My secret is never to say "no" to something that sounds interesting -- even if I'm not sure how it will work. So naturally when my General Manager at the station asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would be their social media instigator/guru on a new in-depth news show launching this January, I said "yes" without hesitation.

So do I know exactly what I'm going to be doing? really. 

What I do know is the show sounds amazing and it's never been done -- which makes it even more exciting.  Like the crew of Star Trek, we're about to explore the unknown.

Hope Scotty will be there to beam me and the rest of show's team up if needed.