Thursday, June 24, 2010

Breadth of bloggers for keeps growing

The depth and breadth of folks blogging at is growing in leaps and bounds.

I wrote in mid-March when we had 14 bloggers that we wanted to expand the community voices on our Web site and many responded. By the end of April, we had grown our roster of blogs to 27. And since then we've added six more indiviudals to bring the total to 33.

Areas of interest/expertise on a wide range of subjects are represented, from semi-professional football to financial and career planning to several people who write on happenings and concerns in our local communities. Our latest blogger is B. Reefer, a management major at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, who writes on his experience as a college student in our community.

Interesting in blogging with us? Contact Tom Caprood with your ideas. And to everyone else, happy reading.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Record's sports section is now even better on Sunday

The Record has long had an outstanding reputation for local sports coverage but sports editor Kevin Moran and his team have topped themselves with two recent additions to our Sunday sports package.

The first is Faces in the Crowd, a weekly page devoted to accomplishments of athletes of all ages. Recent appearances include a brief profile on John Hudson, head groundskeeper at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium; a photo of the Lansingburgh Knights modified baseball team, which outscored opponents 140-38 on the road to winning their league championship; and an update on Troy heavyweight boxer Shannon Miller.

The goal is to expand the number of faces and names in our newspaper beyond those who normally appear in our local sports coverage to include brief stories and profiles of Little League players, triathletes, Senior Games and Special Olympic participants, skiers, fishermen, and martial arts enthusiasts, to give a few examples. The space will also be used to profile the exploits of former local high school sports stars in their collegiate, professional and amateur careers. All mentions include a photo of the athlete(s).

If you have wish to submit an athletic accomplishment to Faces in the Crowd, send details and a photo (.jpg format) to

The sports department has also launched a weekly Sunday sports feature that goes in-depth on an issue that is of interest to sports fans; it appears over two pages in the centerfold of the section. Andrew Santillo's recent profile of Capital District World Cup fans and Kevin Moran's comprehensive profile of legendary Catholic Central High School basketball coach Don Bassett are two examples. A different approach was taken the Sunday prior to the U.S. Open when The Record golf columnist John Craig wrote a hole-by-hole account of his recent effort to play Pebble Beach, site of the 2010 event.

You don't have to be a dye-in-the-wool sports nut to enjoy reading either of these new efforts each week. if you haven't already checked them out - do so this Sunday. You will be glad you did.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Newspapers' audience online reaches nearly 3 in 5 users

I've wrote on this blog repeatedly about our company's digital first efforts. A report released yesterday by comScore and its Media Metrix service demonstrates the reason why: It showed that more than 123 million Americans visited newspaper sites in May, representing 57 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience.

“The good news for publishers is that even as print circulation declines, Americans are actually consuming as much news as ever – it’s just being consumed across more media,” said Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president, in a press release. “The Internet has become an essential channel in the way the majority of Americans consume news content today with nearly 3 out of 5 Internet users reading newspapers online each month."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oneida High senior Colten Seamans receives Dispatch scholarship award

Colten Seamans is the 2010 winner of the Roland J. Woodcock Memorial scholarship.

The award, sponsored by The Oneida Daily Dispatch, is given to an Oneida High School graduating senior planning a career in journalism or graphic arts. (Colten is shown at right receiving the award from Dispatch editor Kurt Wanfried during a recent award ceremony at Oneida High School.)

The award is named for 'Rollie' Woodcock, who retired in 1991 from the Oneida Daily Dispatch after an amazing 71 years on the job. Except for doing his bit in World War II - a two-year stint with Savage Arms Co. in Utica from 1942-1943 - all of his working life was spent at the Dispatch. Starting as a paperboy in 1917 when the paper was a weekly, he ended his career as a master pressman noted for his ability and enthusiasm in teaching the craft to others.

Colten is the son of James and Bernadette Seamans, who live on Crescent Avenue in Oneida. His activities included intramurals and Art Club, and he helped produce school talent show. He enjoys working with videography in and out of school.

Colten, who works part time at Dunkin' Donuts and for neighbors doing yardwork, will attend Alfred State College in the fall, majoring in graphic arts.

Congrats to Colten and all of the members of OHS' Class of 2010.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New video portal at

New today to is an improved video portal to a library of all of our recently posted videos. It can be sorted by most recent and most viewed; video captions can be searched as well.

Currently 216 videos are posted and we are filming an average of almost 2.5 each day, so come back often for updates. Some videos are also embedded in news stories. Videos average about 2 minutes in length; the range is as brief as roughly a half minute and as long as a little over four minutes.

This is the latest in a series of developments to improve out video journalism. The first this winter was to equip every journalist with a video camera. Coming soon is the ability for readers to upload videos to our Web site.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Record announces Ben Franklin Project stories

Recently I wrote about the Troy Record's participation in Journal Register Company's Ben Franklin Project. On Sunday, July 4, our editorial coverage will reflect the fact our journalists will have sought considerable help from readers in reporting the news, while using free tools to publish our print and online products.

We rarely work on story budgets this far out but for this project we are making an exception, for obvious reasons. Here are seven stories we would like readers of The Record to give us input on:

High cost of summer athletics. Some parents pay up to $1,000 or more for their children to play on summer athletic teams or to attend specialized camps around the country and abroad. We want your input on the matter of the value of these programs and camps to swimmers, soccer players, baseball athletes, football participants and others. For a related story, we would also like your opinion on how the specialization in sports has led to the near extinction of the three-sport scholastic athlete as teens strive to pursue college scholarships. Contact Andrew Santillo or Will Montgomery.

 Major League Baseball memories. We’re looking for readers who have been to major league ballparks to share their most memorable experiences - as well as photos if you have 'em - with fellow readers. Contact Ed Weaver.

Parking meters. Troy recently installed new meters downtown. The effort has caused quite a stir among residents, business owners and visitors. We want to find out how the public feels about the city’s effort to generate new revenue and manage parking space availability. Some people report confusion about how the meters work and where best to find parking. We will send a staff member to observe how parking ordinances are enforced as well as how people are reacting to it. There are also plans to create a video and/or photo slideshow on how the meters work, and to set up an online forum for discussion. Contact any one of these individuals with your feedback: Jessica Pasko, Cecelia Martinez, Tom Caprood or Katie Nowak.  

Gridlock. Capital District highways and thoroughfares tend to turn into parking lots most days during morning and afternoon rush hours. What are some of your worst commuter horror stories? What route is the worst for traffic jams or best to avoid them? Contact: Jessica Pasko, Dave Canfield, or Danielle Sanzone.

Editorial page content. We’re inviting the public to submit content for editorial cartoons, columns and guest editorials related to an Independence Day theme of your choice. Feel free to be as creative as to the context - patriotism, independence, the state of state and/or federal politics, or something else. Contact Lisa Robert Lewis for more information and to share your ideas.

Travel. We are asking the community to send us their thoughts and photos of their favorite travel destinations for this time of year: day trip, weekend getaway and week-long (or longer) summer destinations are all welcome. E-mail Siobhan Connally.

Photo story. Lastly, we're looking for photos of your favorite historic sites, patriotic displays, and local summer events to put together for a photo page showcasing your interests. Contact Mike McMahon.

Thanks in advance for participating!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Oneida Daily Dispatch announces Ben Franklin Project stories

Recently I wrote about the Oneida Daily Dispatch's participation in Journal Register Company's Ben Franklin Project. The gist is that on Saturday, July 3, our editorial coverage will reflect the fact our journalists will have sought considerable help from readers in reporting the news, while using free tools to publish our print and online products.

We rarely work on story budgets this far out but for this project we are making an exception, for obvious reasons. Here are three stories we would like your input on:

Where have all our neighbors gone? Census projections show Madison and Oneida counties continue to lose residents. It's not just retired people moving to Florida; it¹s the young and the educated seeking opportunity they can¹t find at home. If this area is to grow and proper in the years to come, these are the people who need to make it happen. What can be done?  The first in a series of articles on this topic will run July 3. We'll talk to teenagers about where they see themselves living as young adults. We'll reach out to former residents as to why they moved. And we'll talk to local adults of all ages about whether they are planning to stay.

Oneida proud. One thing shared by many of us who have remained in Oneida is Oneida High School; either we attended and/or our children. But the school was different in each era. Teachers, fashions and atmosphere are some of changes. Clique also fashioned our experiences. We want people to share their memories of what OHS was like "back in the day" .... whenever that was for you. It would be particularly fun to talk to families who have had several generations of family members taught at OHS. We'll also ask readers to share photos.

Dangerous intersections.
Based on your input as to which intersections are the worst, we'll talk with local officials about how to solve what may be long-standing issues. We'll use online maps and take photos to illustrate.

If you would like to participate in any of these stories, please contact editor Kurt Wanfried.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oneida Daily Dispatch honors vets, wins 1st in parade competition

The Oneida Daily Dispatch won first place in the "adult float" category at the 2010 Oneida Memorial Day Parade.

The parade theme was "Honoring our Veterans - Past, Present and Future". The Dispatch float used symbols that interpreted all three themes:
- PAST: At the head of the float (right) is a table set for one. A common symbol at American Legions, it represents service members - POWs and MIAs - whose return we await.
- PRESENT: The yellow ribbon represents the support we give to all service men and women as they serve our country, and our hope for their safe return home.
- FUTURE: Silhouette of service member as he takes his oath at enlistment represents all men and women who will voluntarily commit inthe future to serve in the armed forces.

Kudos and thanks go to:
- Marc Alvord and Karen Alvord for decorating the float, and Marc for the concept.
- Gordie Fox and Brian Pratt for cutting and painting the symbols on the float.
- Dennis Alvord for donating the wood for the symbols.
- Francis Relyea for donating his truck (and time driving), pulling the trailer.
- White's Farm Supply for supplying the trailer.