Alternatives for subscribers who didn’t get their O.C. Register

Old News by Doug Wheller licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Old News by Doug Wheller licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Thousands of Orange County Register subscribers haven’t received their newspapers for the past few days (stories by the L.A. Times, O.C. Weekly and O.C. Register), so I thought it would be helpful to list some other ways those customers can get the news they’ve been missing.

The most obvious solution is to use the internet. People could visit the Register’s web site. They could go to Google and search for Orange County news. They can be more specific and query the search engine for news in their particular city.

For those married to the print medium, the Register has said that (paying) subscribers can visit the office in Santa Ana to pick up a “free” copy of the paper. People can also visit their local convenience store or hunt down a rare newspaper vending machine and purchase a copy of the Register or a competing publication.

Unfortunately, none of my suggestions are good ones.

Visit the Register’s Facebook page, or search Twitter for mentions of @ocregister.  Customers have been using social media to complain about the problem. So-called “print customers” obviously know how to use the internet and social media. They know how to find the Register on Twitter. They know how to find the Register on Facebook. It’s safe to assume they know how to visit the Register website and read the news there.

The vocal print subscribers who use social media to complain about distribution problems don’t seem interested in a digital solution. Post after post makes it clear. They want what they signed up for, a newspaper delivered to their doorstep.

If there’s one thing this delivery debacle has taught us, it is this: there is a real demand for newspapers, even among people who use the internet and social media.

What’s the lesson?

So, if for some news consumers there is no substitute for printed news, what should the Register and other newspaper organizations take away as a lesson from this experience? I want to hear what you have to say. Leave a comment below or strike up a conversation on Twitter, where you can find me @ksablan.

This lazy social media resume makes sense

Dog by Ralph Arvesen licensed under CC BY 2.0
Dog by Ralph Arvesen licensed under CC BY 2.0

How lazy is this? I asked my friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook to share reasons for a company to hire me. Then I turned those replies into a Storify that I will share with prospective employers as a sort of interactive list of references.

Like most of my work, I didn’t choose this approach because it was easy, or to be different. I selected it because it makes sense. I plan to bring my social media skills to my next job, so it makes sense to use social media tools to demonstrate my abilities. Continue reading

What stats from a 4-day-old blog say about you

This blog was revived five days ago, and I’m horrible obsessed with its stats, so here is what I’ve learned by looking at the first four days of data from Google Analytics, Twitter and Facebook.

You are loud.

Pioneer, Barkerville BC, megaphone by J Scott licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Pioneer, Barkerville BC, megaphone by J Scott licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

More than 2,000 people visited the blog, and 80% of you found yourself on this site after following a link shared on a social network. That means you  brought people to this site. You tweeted an Almighty Link blog post to your Twitter followers more than 350 times, shared a post with your Facebook friends 40 times, liked those Facebook entries more than 200 times, and left 88 related comments on Facebook. I posted only three Facebook status updates on my personal profile, and four tweets, again from my personal account. Continue reading

Up next: building connections

Connecting People by Bowen Chin licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Connecting People by Bowen Chin licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It’s time for this computer geek turned journalist to move on.

I started my news career in a dark cubicle outside of a West Covina newsroom 12 years ago, shoveling articles onto what was referred to as the “information highway.” After stints creating and managing online ads and in web development for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, I found my way  into newsrooms and evangelized for social media before exiting the industry last month as a business columnist.

I’m happy with my career so far. I feel that I’ve helped people. I’ve helped local businesses learn about their partners and competitors through my column. I’ve helped colleagues use their tools more easily creating widgets that improved those tools. I’ve helped advertisers reach their customers by creating and delivering their ads. I’ve helped fellow journalists and members of the local community use social media effectively by sharing what I’ve learned and organizing events where they could learn more.

I realize that my passion comes from building connections, and I plan to do more of that. I haven’t “landed” yet, but my goal is clear. I want to help people and/or companies make connections to reach their goals. To do that I must keep my options open, because there are so many professions that fit that bill:

  • Journalists connect news consumers to helpful information.
  • Public relations professionals connect organizations to the public.
  • Marketers connect products or services to people who can use them.
  • Managers connect team members to work as one collaborative unit.
  • Analysts connect data to actionable insights.
  • Developers connect users to the tasks they need to complete.