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Archive for May, 2007

 As of today, I can be found on my souped-up The Times blog on the new blogging platform developed by (the ever-so-slightly overworked) Colin Daniels for the interactive paper. I’m not so sure about the pictures on the masthead, but I’m told this is the corporate look … I suppose there is always photoshop.

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Lesley starts blogging

The redoubtable Lesley Mofokeng, entertainment reporter extraordinaire at the Sunday Times has started a blog on the Times platfrom. It will follow his life as Mr Entertainment and, of late, as a contestant in the Strictly Come Dancing competition. He is the second blogger on our platform following the somewhat hurried launch of the Bullog.

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We have been on a steep learning curve since Wednesday last week when we started working to our regular schedule. Here are some issues:

 Our final dummy has a lot of added value concepts that require focus and hard work to find, write, edit and lay out. The streamlining of scheduling and the features production process has been the focus of a lot of energy and is now more or less on track.

The templates for our features section were not ready and held us back substantially on our Thursday night deadline. The templates should make design easier on regular pages, but the fact that they weren’t ready meant they had to be designed while subs waited for them to do the actual pages. Tick tock.

Picture scanning was slow. A bureaucratic snafu of some kind as the scanning department was not ready for our first dummy production run for Friday’s paper and things churned very slowly. They are probably wondering why they have to expend all this energy on something that is not printing yet when they have ‘real’ newspapers to produce.

 Multimedia production was happening on big stories and the pods were working together – although there were occassional clashes over who gets priority at interviews, for example – so I’m expecting that the web site is going to rock with video and podcasts.

 All in all, there was quite a bit of first night stuff going on. Pages not following proofing processes, that sort of thing. We had a great meeting on Friday to go through each and every problem and to identify solutions. Fortunately, the enthusiasm and solution-orientation of the team has meant that we are now sailing along relatively smoothly.

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Masthead for Friday …

Masthead, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

A glimpse of the masthead for our friday dummy while it was being designed …

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Gotta love those brilliant Amatomu buzzgraphs. Check this one out on the Bulls vs Sharks.

Meanwhile, SA Rugby has issued an official statement on how much Luke Watson bench-pressed. Really.

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First Splash

First Splash, originally uploaded by hartleyr.

An ever-so-slightly tense news editor, Marvin Meintjies, edits the first splash contender after our first dummy run today. Note the clenched fist …

 Added Friday morning: I can happily report that no other newspaper had our splash! Phew!

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Read this great piece from Wired about over-reaction to the Virginia Tech killings. In light of the recent Blog Day Afternoon over Bullard, this sentence did catch my eye:

A high school student was suspended for customizing a first-person shooter game with a map of his school.

Just the kind of geek that … ?

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