I'm in Chicago, at O'Hare Airport. It's 7:30 a.m., an hour earlier than it is back home in Vermont. I'm totally sleep-deprived as I'm writing this — our 8-person Seven Days crew left Portland, Oregon at about midnight last night. I slept a bit on the flight, though I also watched most of Shooter, the in-flight movie, which was bad, but not worthless. I like Marky Mark as an actor way more than I ever thought I would.
We were in Portland for the annual Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention. Last year we were in Little Rock, where the guest speakers included Bill Clinton and Wesley Clark. This year's speakers weren't quite so illustrious, though we got a heartening pep talk from Jim Hightower, which was cool.
I mentioned in my last post that my Bomb's Away audio slideshow was a finalist for the "web content feature" award (for papers with circulation under 60,000 — 7D circulates 32,000 copies in print each week). I was pleasantly surprised when it won first place. That was cool. I've never won one of the national awards before.
Of course, this is the first year they've given this award at AAN, and I suspect there weren't many entrants in that category. But it was still nice to win.
I think a lot of alternative weeklies haven't quite figured out how to do audio slideshows and multimedia content yet. I started producing slideshows after the AAN convention last year, when I went to a workshop called "Flash for Print Journalists," with R. Scott Horn.
Inspired by the memory of that workshop — and by Jessamyn's Ubuntu video — I whipped up an audio slideshow tutorial while I was at the convention. I did it in a few hours, starting early Saturday morning, when I woke up around 5:15 a.m. and couldn't sleep.
If you've ever been curious about how these slideshows get made, watch this 4-minute slideshow and learn.