Posted in Conferences & Conventions

Online News Association Opens Voting for 2010 Conference Workshops

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

I am a firm believer in giving the people what they want, which is why I’m so excited about the release of proposed workshops for this year’s Online News Association annual conference Oct. 28-30 in Washington, D.C.  I have attended dozens of conferences in my career, and when I look at the list of what’s offered, some have me scratching my head.

Which is why I love the ONA format.  Right now, there are 122 proposed sessions, covering everything from Entrepreneurial Journalism to How To Teach An Old Media Dog New (and Social) Media Tricks.  You can read each proposal and give it a thumbs up or down.

I also like the fact that ONA has given itself some wiggle room, because the popular vote –which ends March 21–only counts for 30%.  “The rest of the process is composed of input from the ONA10 Conference Committee, ONA Staff and a Board of Directors representative,” according to ONA. And better yet, ONA is still accepting workshop proposals even though the deadline date has passed.

I looked at all the  proposals and saw there were four  from  NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force members:

  • Maverick Models In Journalism, Dr. Sybril Bennett, Belmont University
    Description: Becoming a Maverick freelance journalist takes flexibility, the ability to fail and try again and so many other skills that may or may not be taught in school. Here from those on the front lines and in the trenches as they survive and thrive in the multimedia world.
  • SEO for Journalists, Lanita Pace-Hinton, Knight Digital Media Center, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
    Description: More than 80% of users click one of the top three results on any given web search. With all the competition out there, it’s critical that news sites do everything they can to end up at the top of search results for any given query. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of tuning a web site (and its content) to make sure Google (and others) can find the most important, relevant content.
  • Google Tools for Journalists, Lanita Pace-Hinton, Knight Digital Media Center, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
  • Description: A Hands-on Session to Improve Your Toolkit (Intermediate Skill Level) This rapid-fire 90-minute session delivers complete training on 12 tools that journalists can use every day. These free tools improve reporting, information delivery, community engagement and revenue. For time—and budget strapped—journalists, these free services are valuable and important additions to the toolkit.
  • Living La Vida Hyperlocal: Individual/Newsroom Best Practices, Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Elon University
    Description: The hyperlocal space is going crazy — with small operators, legacy media and new players investing in serving smaller geographic areas. How can these entities provide value-added services and information that generate revenue? Is user-generated content the way to go? How can new relationships enhance the news gathering function?

Voting for the panels ends March 21.  I plan on attending, and I hope you will support our DJTF members.  Let us know if you plan to be in Washington.