Don Curtis works in a wheat field north of Guymon. Photo by Bryan Terry.

The high cost of gasoline is making it almost impossible to produce and deliver The Oklahoman to the furthest parts of the state. As part of a test to develop future audience in these distant locations, The Oklahoman soft-launched MainstreetOK.com this week. An electronic version of Oklahoma small town news, this blog like site will focus around the town of Guymond, Oklahoma.

Giving it a local flavor and a true hometown read, this version of Panhandle news will be edited and maintained by a local resident of Guymond. With social networking built-in, this site includes local news, sports, movie times, photo galleries, classifieds and weather. In the near future and currently in final development, this project will include a New York Times style reader, which is a down-loadable software version of The Oklahoman that lives on your computer. This version of the newspaper will update itself on a continual basis. I’ll have more on that the day it launches.

Commissioned by The Oklahoman circulation department, project contributors include Jennifer Armstrong-Zink, Billy Mabray, Amy Mitchell, Andy Fugate, Jake Behrens, Jay Spear, Tommy Yi, Alan Herzberger, Pat Dennis, Joe Hopper, Rob Wescott and a small part of myself.

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bug_photos.gifView images from the Web 2.0 Expo 2008.

Featuring some of the most successful Internet figures in the industry, the Web 2.0 Expo is a world-wide gathering of technical, design, marketing, and business professionals who are building the next generation Internet model.

Working hard over the last year to build four media studios, my focus on Internet technology had dwindled to nothing. In technology, a year is a long time, so what a wonderful way to baptize myself back into what is relevant.

Traveling on the Design and User Experience track, I placed 5 stars beside the items that interested me the most or made reference to the newspaper and media industry. Read the rest of this entry to follow my four day journey.

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With Angi, Marilu Henner and Gunnar Peterson stopped by our studio to promote their new books on health and fitness.

Marilu Henner is a well-known actress who recently starred in The Celebrity Apprentice. She is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover and Healthy Life Kitchen, as well as, several other titles. For more than twenty years she has championed a vigorous, healthy lifestyle and has inspired countless friends and readers along the way.

Gunnar Peterson is a Beverly Hills–based personal trainer whose clients include film and television celebrities as well as professional athletes. Gunnar has been a personal trainer for more than sixteen years and is often sought out by television and print media for his fitness expertise. He lives in Beverly Hills.

Susie McEntire Luchsinger, younger sister to Reba McEntire, will sing the national anthem to kick off the rodeo this weekend before taping an episode of her television show, “Cowboy Church.”

Luchsinger is regarded as one of the most renowned and respected country gospel singers in the business and in addition to numerous awards and nominations from TNN, GMA and CCMA, She holds the title “Christian Country Artist of the Year.”

Susie stopped by NewsOK.tv to promote her show and sing a song from her latest album “Count It All Joy.”


bug_camera.gifBe sure to watch the wimgo video project. These are GREAT!

Today, OPUBCO Communications Group launched wimgo.com. This new Web site offers Oklahomans a one-stop, full-service, all-inclusive, comprehensive collection of things to do and places to go, served with a side of opinions, photos, video, maps, “communities of interest” and whatever else develops.

Spearheading the project, Rob Wescott, vice president of audience development, said “wimgo came out of the fact that there wasn’t really any place online where you could find everything that’s going on in Oklahoma.”

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Located one block East of the White House in the National Press Building, The Oklahoman launched its first remote video studio on Monday, February 18th.

According to Mark Green, National Editorial Writer for The Oklahoman, “I don’t know anyone with a bureau like ours or has anything like it. Some larger bureau operations have pretty extensive studios, but I don’t know that anyone is producing the kind of video on demand from their bureau like we are.”

Using Apple QuickTime software, video is captured onto a Mac and then uploaded to Oklahoma City. A teleprompter is attached to a camera, while Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau Chief, and Green run it from their laptops.

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bug_camera.gifWatch Mayor Cornett’s presentation on the Core to Shore initiative and his recent appearance on the Ellen show. Pictured are Dave, Angi and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.

pic_surgeon_general_02With construction of the studio nearly complete and with no time to waste, we fired up our new HD switcher and launched the control room and loft set. Our first guest that morning was Admiral Steven K. Galson, Acting Surgeon General of the United States of America, and later that evening, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett made a visit to the studio.

Forming an alliance with Oklahoma’s First Lady and the governor’s initiative on living a healthier lifestyle, Admiral Galson recorded several PSAs focused around underage drinking and smoking.

On that same day, Mayor Cornett unveiled plans to develop approximately 700 acre area between downtown and the Oklahoma River. This initiative, called Core to Shore is scheduled for completion in 2012. He also talked about Dells recent announcement to layoff part of its workforce and his recent appearance on the Ellen show.

bug_photos.gifCheck out photos of installation of the loft set.
bug_camera.gifTake a panoramic tour of our facilities and studio.  

It became apparent, in time, we needed a site to house all our video content in one place. So, using Brightcove technology as our back-end, we launched NewsOK.tv 1.0. Although in an infancy phase, NewsOK.tv gave us a home – a place where you could see everything at once or search by topics.

Future versions of NewsOK.tv UI will include closed caption, video linked back to original articles, commenting and user channels built by tags. Plans to develop NewsOK.tv 2.0 are slated for mid-May 2008.

NewsOK.tv 1.0 development team includes James Duncan, Brad Belyeu and myself.

centennial_01.jpg
bug_camera.gifWatch the Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular Commercials.

Some of Oklahoma’s best returned home to celebrate our centennial. This all-star concert featured some of our most famous sons and daughters. Among the stars were Reba McEntire, Toby Kieth, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, Johnny Bench, Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci, Oklahoma’s Miss America 2007, 2006, 1996, 1981 and 1967, All-American Rejects, Flaming Lips, Amy Grant, Shirley Jones, Willard Scott, Patti Page, Blake Shelton, Berry Switzer and live satellite from Ron Howard and First Lady Laura Bush. Happy birthday Oklahoma!

Video from NewsOK.tv
bug_camera.gifWatch video highlights with Angi from the Ford Center.
bug_camera.gifWatch video from the press conference.

Video from World-wide-web

bug_camera.gifOpening performance from Vince and Reba.
bug_camera.gifToby Keith performs American Soldier.
bug_camera.gifCarrie Underwood performance.
bug_camera.gifCentennial Spectacular Finale.

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Wayne Coyne is a true local celebrity. And LOOKatOKC was lucky enough to tag along with The Oklahoman’s Gene Triplett and a NewsOK.tv crew for a 60-plus minute interview with The Flaming Lips lead singer.

bug_camera.gifWatch NewsOK’s video interview, read Gene Triplett’s article and view photos. Other related articles and videos include The Flaming Lips Alley dedication.

wwii_thumb.jpgIn just two weeks after its launch, the Oklahoma WWII site is #2 in the country. This means among all 354 PBS stations nationwide, Oklahoma is second in user submitted stories.

Currently, St. Louis is #1. However, they’ve had a site up for more than a year. We’re only about 60 stories behind them. I have a feeling… We’re getting ready to blow their doors off.

Thanks again to everyone at NewsOK.com and OETA for your hard work. You can view Oklahoma WWII site credits when you continue this story.

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…or at least, I’ll take it as a complement.

gundy.jpg

bug_camera.gifOSU head football coach, Mike Gundy, the day after the Jenni Carlson episode.

ESPN: “The fact that Oklahoma’s biggest newspaper has such an elaborate Web site that there’s a ‘The Tirade of Mike Gundy’ special section, with video clips and everything. You know the Internet has made it when The Oklahoman looks like MSNBC.com.” – Bill Simmons, ESPN.

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With the combined resources of Oklahoma’s PBS station, NewsOK designed and developed a Web site that preserves Oklahoma’s account of World War II. This site will be used to collect and accept videos, audio recordings, original photos and letters from the “Greatest Generation” of our time.

Inspired by the compelling World War II stories collected by Ken Burns and as part of a national initiative by PBS, NewsOK.com and OETA launched an aggressive statewide outreach effort to collect, preserve and share the personal stories from Oklahomans who served on the frontlines and maintained the home front. Watch this bug_camera.gifPBS Extended Sneak Preview. (27:00 cut into four parts)

All personal stories and historical accounts are eligible for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and Archives in Washington D.C.

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edlam.jpg

Launched Thursday, August 30th, Edlam Football is my second Brightcove design to hit the street. Thanks to Rob Wescott, our Advertising Development Manager, this player will be our most profitable yet, and in it’s opening weekend video reached nearly 7,800 views.

Featuring the home games of Edmond’s three public high schools, this site includes video highlights, message boards, stories, Oklahoman photos, user submitted photos, blogs, statistics, weather and more. The back-end production and hard work belongs to James Duncan, Ethan Cairns, David Jones, Kyle Roberts, Alan Herzberger and Dave Morris. This site rocks!

Be sure to check out the High School Huddle pre-game show when you visit the site at Edlamfootball.com.

look_cover_01.jpgIn preparation for it’s second anniversary, we decided to redesign LOOKatOKC.

With all you need to know about what’s going on around town and a demographic age of 18 to 35, LOOKatOKC is Oklahoma City’s entertainment magazine.

With a deadline of six weeks, I assembled together five of the best designers at The Oklahoman – two from marketing and three from multimedia. Never in my 25 year career had I witnessed a more powerful team, and at the average age of 24, I’m excited to think about what the future holds for them and the role they will play in our company.

In the end, the final product reflected a large part of each of their ideas. Designers are Tay Duran, Suzanne Green, Tommy Yi, Julie Webb and Jennifer Armstrong, and of course, no publication would be complete without its editors, Lindsey Johnson and Alan Herzberger.

To launch our new design and as a bonus, Budweiser threw a party and invited some of Oklahoma City’s most beautiful people.

bug_camera.gifWatch our Behind the Scenes: Heat Party commercial shoot.
bug_camera.gifWatch Dave and Angi at the party.

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Recording My Experiences

mug_scott_bw.jpgAfter slogging away for years to beat the next deadline, it's nice to have a place to quickly record my professional experiences. I started this blog, as I was finishing the design and launch of the second of four media studios on the 7th floor of The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City and one studio east of the White House in the National Press Building. Below are a set of links reflecting our dreams, our challenges and the products and services we chose.

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