Heading to ONA14

Heading to ONA14

For the second consecutive year, I’m headed to the Online News Association’s conference for three days of reflection on the industry and lessons for the future.

As far as I know, I’m the only journalist from my company who will be attending the conference in Chicago for all three days. Other teammates will be there briefly.

Like last year, I’ve established a WordPress blog on which I will post my notes and observations from the conference. So far, I’ve posted a schedule of key sessions that will be live-streamed online and a few predictions about the key lessons from the conference:

  • ┬áData visualizations seem to be a significant focus, with several midway pitches, classes about mapping, sessions about code planning, etc. My concern is that this was the focus of the keynote last year and the lessons are difficult to apply with the thinly stretched resources of a local newsroom. These are also of questionable utility for for-profit news sites.
  • More valuable may be the series of sessions related to video. There are fewer of these, but any inspiration for new videos hold the potential for significantly more potential for viewership online. (I’ve learned lately there’s even more potential viewership than I would have predicted.)

I’m also excited to attend a gathering of ONA local group organizers. I visited that gathering last year, which was when I realized there was no local group in Colorado. I’d like to learn from the more experienced group leaders about how to increase our membership size and what kinds of events work well.