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Sports, nDepths and Halliburton executives dominate last full week of August on NewsOK

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A blank blog post for about 15 hours

Thank goodness for moms. At a family gathering last weekend, the No. 1 reader of this blog reported that last week’s blog post was blank — as in empty …. nothing to read at all except for a catchy headline. I called up the blog post on the computer and saw that her report was accurate. I’m not sure how that happened. I do know that I made some changes (fixing typos) Friday night on my iPad. I must have pushed the wrong button. Luckily, WordPress has a nice version history of all posts, and I was able to retrieve what was there on Friday night. Whew!


NewsOK.com is hiring

I’m hiring a web editor position. We recently lost a good hand. It’s a shame. But we understand that not everyone spends their entire career here. There are plenty of opportunities for career growth for good people, even when times are tough in the news publishing business. But with every loss comes great opportunity, so we’re looking for a web editor that can do a wide variety of things to help us grow: “NewsOK.com is looking for a web editor to work closely with our online sports initiatives and our sports department. We need a journalist skilled in social media, blogging, content curation, industry technology and trends and solid news judgment to connect with our audience and continue our aggressive digital media efforts. Contact aherzberger@opubco.com.


OHP sex scandal page

We launched a new Ongoing Coverage page last week amid the series of stories covering the case of Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Patrick Venable. Venable is charged with second-degree rape after being accused of taking a woman into custody in the early morning hours of June 20 and then driving her to her house in Guthrie to have sex. Venable’s next court appearance is set for Sept. 22. On our ongoing coverage page, you can see all the previous stories on this case and read the court and read the affidavit that led to the charges.


Fighting Back – a new nDepth

We launched a new nDepth special presentation this week that is intended to be the first in a series of nDepth specials titled “Fighting Back.” The first one was a story about Reggie Whitten, who has started several non-profit organizations during the past few years after the death of his son Brandon. In this nDepth piece, Jenni Carlson shares Whitten’s story about Brandon’s addiction and eventual death –  and how he turned that tragedy into a life spent trying to help others in the world. It’s a powerful story.


Berry’s take on Perkins

Berry Tramel had a Berry-like take on the recent Kendrick Perkins controversy that we reported on last week (and I blogged about in my previous post). From Berry: “What a crock. Hey, Gran Torino, let me tell you what Clint Eastwood would not do in this kind of situation. He wouldn’t hide behind some shill. If he felt he was wronged, he would say so. Or at least, keep quiet and not let anyone else do his talking for him.” We’ve really had all sides of this story covered. Now we’re just waiting on the truth to come out.


Happy iPad customer No. 1

I received an email this week from a longtime newspaper subscriber who now gets the edition every day on his iPad. This customer is a perfect example of a traditional newspaper reader who has transitioned to a digital device as his lifestyle has changed. He was patient and pleasant, but he couldn’t get an edition to download on Tuesday morning. After a quick email exchange (I handed him off to our customer service specialist for digital products), the problem was fixed. We don’t have many problems with customers trying to get an edition or get connected, when we do, we’re happy to help as quickly as we can.


Happy iPad customer No. 2

I spoke with my brother-in-law last weekend. He lives in Springdale, Ark., and reported that he is a new subscriber to The Oklahoman on his iPad device. This customer is a perfect example of a non-traditional newspaper reader who has connected with us because of his new device. He didn’t read the newspaper daily when he lived in town, but he’s always been a digital news consumer. The Oklahoman’s iPad app is a great way to stay informed, especially as it relates to Oklahoma. He’s interested in staying informed about his former state. So because of technology and our development, he’s a new customer. That makes us happy.


Community blogs

We recently launched a community blogs page that has links to a lot of Oklahoma bloggers (45 of them, to be exact). Some of the bloggers are hosted within the NewsOK blogging community, but others are doing their own thing. We link to them as well. I’ve always known the blogging community is Oklahoma is strong, but having dozens of them in one place really helps get around the community quickly. If you’re a blogger, but don”t see yours on here, let me know. I expect that we will add many more in the next week or so.


Travis Haney is on campus

Our new OU football reporter Travis Haney started this week. And judging by his first two blog posts about his tour of the OU campus and his memories of the great Pat Summit, we’re in for a treat on his daily reports and musings about the OU football program. Check them out. Send him a note. And look for much more from Travis.


All-Access from ESPN

Speaking of the OU blog, Mike Baldwin is also covering the Sooners every day. This week, he had the rough assignment of watching television — something many OU fans surely watched as well. His breakdown — ESPN’s ‘All-Access, training Days With the Oklahoma Sooners’ is must-see TV — was helpful to me, especially since I’ve yet to see the program. Mike offered a series of notes about the show, and then said this:  “The only negative for a reporter like myself is the media used to get this type of access years ago before college football coaches shut down watching practices. I miss those days. Not only did you get to see which backup players were close to being ready to contribute you saw more of the players’ personalties.


Gina Mizell starts her gig with us

Staying with the sports theme this week (we are almost ready for football season, you know), check out the blog posts from the new OSU football reporter Gina Mizell. She opened up with an interesting comparison between the OSU football program and the Arizona State football program. She also talked about how she saw her first OSU practice. But her big introduction to us is this video with Berry Tramel from the OPUBCO Studios …


Most-viewed article

A Halliburton executive sipped from a cup of fracking fluid at an industry conference. We had an AP story on it, and Fark.com linked to it, driving the Halliburton executive takes a swig of fracking fluid article to the top of the list for articles this week on NewsOK.


Most-viewed blog post

Travis Haney’s aforementioned blog post about his experience with legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit was our most-viewed blog post this week.


Most-viewed photo gallery

For the second consecutive week, the gallery of the former OU quarterback Jimmy Harris has been the most-viewed photo gallery in our photo section. Jimmy keeps on winning.

Most-viewed video

An OU practice report from Tuesday was our most-viewed video this week:

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Alan Herzberger

Alan Herzberger is the Vice President of Audience Development at The Oklahoman Media Company. He focuses on digital strategies for The Oklahoman and for NewsOK.com. He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports department.... Read more ›