Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Conference Web pages updated

Much of the conference coverage on the ACES Web site at www.copydesk.org has been updated. Some new pages, stories and photos have been added. Other pages have been revamped. Construction will continue for another couple of days, mostly to add photos, fix links and make other tweaks. We'll also add links to conference stories and photos that appear on other Web sites and blogs. So keep checking back!

Monday, April 24, 2006

See you in Miami

The conference has come and gone, but memories will remain -- along with hundreds of handouts. See you all in Miami next year!

Dance fever

What a way to close out a great conference! The party Saturday night at Fat Fish Blue was hopping. Yes, it was packed, and when the band started it was loud, but it was sooooo much fun! And Neil is right, copy editors dancing side by side with sorority girls in formals was quite a sight. I loved it when the band gave a shout out to the copy editors. How often do you get to hear that?

I've posted a few photos on Flickr. Apologies for the quality, but they were taken with my phone. Dancing and multiple cosmopolitans were involved as well...

Fat Fish Blue, baby

Oh, now we're home and it's all over, and many of us are still recovering from our Saturday night social at Fat Fish Blue, where a New Orleans-style band blew the roof off. Lots of dancing -- the Saturday social gets a lot of unlikely people letting loose. Come, for instance, to see Alex Cruden's one and only dance move, but done very convincingly. I don't know how we got booked at the same time as a college senior social, but suddenly there we were, dancing with college guys in tuxes and girls in prom-like dresses. And while Erin McKean got all the raves on this discussion board, her partner in words, Wendy Nichols, was the badest lexicographer in any American nightclub. Thanks for the great time, all of you; I miss you already.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cleveland really DOES rock

The ACES Cleveland conference went out like a lion, with an Oscar-worthy performance of "It's Hard Out There on the Rim" by Beryl Adcock, Scott Toole, and the incomparable Hank Glamann.

Dan Husson's slide show, backed by "Cleveland Rocks," helped us get even deeper into the mood for the Fat Fish Blue party, and so did Jackie Kunzmann's fantastic Top 10 reasons to come to the South Florida conference next year in Miami.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped make this conference a terrific event.

In the home stretch

How is it possible that the conference is already almost over?? We have one more block of sessions -- the forums -- and then the closing general session. All of the sessions I looked in on this morning were well attended. Women in Management, with Leslie Guevarra, Melissa McCoy, Anne Ferguson-Rohrer and Teresa Schmedding, had a great discussion going that spilled over 15 minutes or so into the lunch break (which is great!) One participant in that session found me later and suggested a management track at next year's conference. What a good idea... I hope a lot of attendees will fill out their conference surveys so we can hear other suggestions like that.

Ether ore

One of the big challenges every year is dealing with the technology that's needed to run the conference. A lot of presentations use PowerPoint or the equivalent; some need Internet connections. Then there are the people who want to use overhead projectors; some arrive with Macs and need help setting up their equipment in a largely Windows world.

Then there's the Internet cafe -- and many thanks to the Plain Dealer for providing the equipment and setting it up -- which this year includes a wireless connection. (The printer has been a little wacky; it needs a good kick in the pants ... er, restart ... to operate sometimes.)

So far we've been really lucky, though, with all of our tech stuff, even in the banquet last night, which was such a tricky operation that it included two laptops, a voice recorder, and even lighting cues. It was especially a kick to hear Pam Robinson's voice coming at us like a surround-sound movie track, almost like the voice of God.

I was almost tempted to ask, "Who is this really?" Which will mean nothing to you if you're not a fan of Bill Cosby in his stand-up phase. But anyway ...

I think this afternoon's closing session will be the capper -- but I don't want to give anything away now.

Where the auction was

[My turn to be a conduit for Gerri Berendzen -- thanks for writing, Gerri.]

One of the better ways to have fun while parting with some of your money is at the ACES silent auction. Things were cookin' Friday night -- all for the benefit of the ACES Education Fund. It was fun to watch some of the bidding battles unfold, although not everyone walked out with a major award. (For those of you not in the know, that's a reference to "A Christmas Story" and one really ugly lamp.)
Tammy Yates of the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Miss., and Kathy Schenck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel helped out with lively bidding for a print of the Sex Pistols. Take a look at Tammy and Kathy. Can you see either of them in the front row of a Sex Pistols concert? (OK, maybe I can see Kathy there.) But Tammy is a big fan and kept upping Kathy's bid, helping out ACES with her winning bid of $90.

Later in the evening, the bidding started again at a live auction held after the banquet keynote speech to benefit help the New Orleans Times-Picayune Hurricane Relief Fund. A smaller group of bidders raised $2,725 for the fund. ACES auctionmeister Scott Toole urged ACES members to "bid with your hearts and not with your heads" and he did just that, offering $225 for a Times-Picayune "Come Hell or High Water" T-shirt autographed by the members of the T-P copy desk. After the stirring presentation by James O'Byrne of the Times-Picayune, who wouldn't want to help out.

The silent auction once again appeared to be a rousing success, although I haven't seen a final tally yet. I do know this, an Ohio-native reporter in Quincy, Ill., is going to be mighty pleased with the Cleveland Indians 2005 World Series tickets I'm taking home.

Where there's smoke

It's 5:50 a.m., and I just got back in from the sidewalk, where several dozen of my closest friends and I stood shivering in the fog while we waited to see why the fire alarm went off. I did appreciate that John Russial, Becky Hudson, Chris and I all were in ACES-logo T-shirts and sweatshirts. Apparently the fire alarm was limited to one or two floors, which is why there were so few of us out on the sidewalk. And I thought it was so clever to be staying on the 5th floor to be close to the meeting rooms. How early does room service start serving, I wonder??

Yes, Erin McKean, and Lauren Rich Fine

Oh, look at that, it's 2:45 a.m.; it appears I've spent all night talking to so many great people, some I've known for years and some I've just met. The show of hands requested Thursday morning to indicate who was at their first conference revealed about half the crowd, par for the course. It's always good that we see a new batch of copy editors each year and the ACES magic spreads.

I second, third, fourth the raves for Erin McKean, who not only is wicked smart but also has a passion for words that bubbles over *and* is such a dynamic, fun speaker (hmmm, with quite a command of the language). Wendy Nichols added her refreshing no-nonsense approach to an "Inside Dictionaries" presentation that turned out to be much more than word minutiae (as if there were such a thing among copy editors).

I peeked in on -- OK, I couldn't pull away from the session presented by Merrill Lynch media analyst Lauren Rich Fine, who was quite impressive herself with her thorough knowledge, frank and well-argued opinions, and clear enthusiasm again for her work. First of all, she sat at a table with zero notes or PowerPoint and just began talking, in an organized fashion even, and blew us away. *Then* she began taking questions. So many challenging ideas she presents for the newspaper industry, which I may write ad nauseam about later but which I'll summarize quickly now: Screw stockholders (because nobody appears to like your stock right now anyway), forget margins and do what it takes to fix yourself; try new things, something, anything to make yourselves more appealing -- even trying and failing is better than languishing as you are now; and give your customers what they want rather than what you think they want or should have (and that doesn't necessarily mean go after the young readers).

At the banquet I found myself bidding up live auction items whose proceeds will support a Times-Picayune hurricane relief fund. I've won a T-P T-shirt autographed by the copy desk. To me, it'll be the most valuable set of celebrity autographs I own.

Friday, and I'm fried

I second what Deirdre posted about James O’Byrne. What he says puts you in awe of all the journalists who dealt with Katrina’s destruction, and are still having to deal with it, wherever they work, whatever they do, in their professional lives and in their personal ones.

His speech reminded us what journalism and newspapers mean for people on the street, and how much we still connect with them. Wall Street and the futurists can fret all they want to, but the people of New Orleans and the Times-Picayune know what the score truly is.

On top of that, we were also wowed at the banquet tonight by a couple of other great speeches — one from Diego Sorbara, our 2005 Aubespin scholar, and one from Paul Soucy of USA Today, the winner of ACES’ first Robinson Prize for excellence in copy editing.

Both these guys were boffo — not a word I use lightly, or very often. In fact, I doubt I’ve ever used it before. But whatever.

Diego was engaging, funny, and uplifting. Not a combo you’d expect from someone speaking for the first time to a few hundred future colleagues.

And Paul, quietly passionate, reminded us that copy editors deserve recognition for what they do, and it’s great that ACES is giving them a way to get it. And his jokes were great, too.

I’m exhausted and falling asleep, so I’d better lie down before I keel over onto the keyboard. Unless somebody’s keeping something from me big-time, it looks like things are going along pretty nicely.

Two down, one to go. And then we start back up on next year’s conference and beyond.

Truly inspiring

Was there anyone who didn't cry during keynote speaker James O'Byrne's presentation? It was sad, moving, inspiring... I don't have the right words. Matthew Crowley is covering it on the ACES site. He'll undoubtedly capture it better than I'm able. I loved James' story of residents who had been plucked from rooftops and deposited on a bridge being so happy to see reporters from The Times-Picayune: They considered it good news that the newspaper had arrived, because it meant their story would get out. To be able to mean that much to someone is just incredible. What an amazing profession we have!

Friday, April 21, 2006

In which I fawn over Erin McKean

I think I should just get it over with and start an Erin McKean fan club. I'd be assured many members, and we could all wear cool glasses and retro dresses and sweater sets to show our respect.

I know why NPR called her America's Lexicographical Sweetheart.

Her session today, with Copy Editor's Wendy Nichols, was fantastic. McKean (who is editor in chief of American dictionaries for Oxford University Press) is just such a polished presenter; she had so many fun examples and clever anecdotes. To wit:
  • Someone tried to pay her $5 to take irregardless out of the dictionary. She said, first of all, I can't be bribed. Second of all, if I could, it wouldn't be for $5.
  • She talked about the "Usual Suspects" rule of dictionary reading: Don't leave before the twist at the end. You may be reading a clump of definitions that all have to do with the core meaning; it's at the end that the funky stuff shows up.
  • People are using ahem as a verb for online downloading: "I ahemmed the new Gnarls Barkley CD last night; it's so good!" It won't be in the dictionary any time soon, but finding new uses like that can be exciting -- even if you wouldn't allow it in a 1A story.
  • Online or print dictionaries? That depends on what you want. McKean compared the online search to a commando raid: You get parachuted in, you take out your target, and they lift you back out. But looking up a word in a book is like an over-land invasion: You're on a trek through all this land, picking up skills and intelligence as you go. One destination may just lead you to another.
And, back to asshat, it won't be enough for just us bloggers to use the word. When you find it in teen movies and zines, that won't get it in the dictionaries, either. Now, if it's in the Economist without scare quotes, she said, then they might consider it.

Antacids

They're a wonderful thing. I've developed a renewed appreciation for them this week.

All together now: Asshat

Perhaps it's vulgar, but if we want to add a word to the dictionary that's all I need to do -- use it. I'm just planting the seed after attending a packed room for "Inside Dictionaries" with Erin McKean of New Oxford American Dictionary fame and Wendalyn Nichols of Copy Editor newsletter.

Despite the early hour, everyone walked away smarter, happier about those behemoths and eager to buy more dictionaries.

What floored me was that there are many printings before a publisher considers creating a new edition. So the WNW4 sitting at home is different (it was confirmed) than the book resting at my desk at work. It was, in my opinion, the best seminar of the conference so far.

So, against my better judgment because my boss is hopefully reading this, start using asshat; maybe it'll catch on.

And some advice: Go to the early sessions. My friend Nikos and I were up until 4 a.m. (arguably the last in the hotel) eating food we purchased from the Giant Eagle supermarket in nearby Lakewood. ... The food was half the fun, and I'll be telling all on my chapter's conference blog at copyblock.com/cleveland. (I'll be posting after lunch; I'm famished). ... But I dragged my sorry butt out of bed at 9 a.m. to make the seminar and it paid in spades. If you're here, you should try to pack as much in as you can (that includes the after-hours sessions with the "veteran" editors).

A technical aside

As some -- or all -- of you may have noticed, the blog site was acting a little funny in respect to (here's the jargon) CSS positioning. As of now, it's back and working again. Back to our regularly scheduled conference. . . .

Small Papers Track

I'm posting a note for Gerri Berendzen:

Copy editors and managers from small publications got together Thursday to
talk about desk structure, training and career options as part of the first
ACES "Small Papers Track."

The sessions addressed some of the problems unique to smaller publications. During the Desk Structure session, a lot of the talk centered around the problems of having a desk that does both editing and design. Jim Lexa of the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News told the gathering that his desk is in the process of reverting from a hybrid editing/design desk to one where individuals do only one of those jobs -- although the process is not complete. That prompted a lot of questions about how the process is being handled and how it was going. Sarah Hendricks, assistant managing editor of the Victoria (Texas) Advocate, was especially interested because she said she's considered doing that but doesn't see how it would work with her manpower restraints. "At papers our size, versatility is the key," Lexa admitted. Many of the editors said that one issue with a hybrid desk is that the editors are too worried about design/pagination and don't have enough time to spend on editing. Crosstraining is one of the keys to striking a balance between getting a well-designed newspaper out on time and presenting quality on the editing side. Panelist Nick Kershbaumer said he thinks the smaller the staff, the more important it is to have a horizontal structure rather than a top-down structure.

Earlier in the day a panel discussed ways to doing cost-effective training for a small staff. Jack Mulkey, copy desk chief at the Daily Breeze in Southern California, drew a lot of interest in his "Daily Breeze Academy" packet for training new editors. Jack brought 15 copies of the packet, handed them all out and was taking "orders" for more when the session ended. The general theme is that training is important everywhere and where time, staffing and money are a concern, desk managers can't afford to lose any opportunity to do training. Training on the Fly ideas included "Take Ten," taking out 10 minutes of time to stress one issues, complete with handouts; using online resources to train; maintaining a local stylebook; and
developing leadership among non-management copy editors by having them plan and present a one-hour training session for the desk. Add handouts and pizza (or cookies) and it can be a fun learning experience for the entire desk.

Twenty-two editors from small publications also got to know each other and talk about smaller paper issues at a topic lunch Thursday. One of the themes of the lunch was letting ACES know what topics editors at smaller publications would like to see addressed in the future.

Musings on Day 1

I know I'm biased, but it feels like Day 1 went really well. The sessions I peeked in on were well-attended, and participants were involved and asking good questions. There's just a good energy around -- maybe it's that buzz Neil was talking about.

I sat in for a little while on Kathy Schenck's Skeptical Editing, which was lively, as always. Her examples and the discussion about them really get you thinking about what's appropriate to run and what types of questions editors should be asking.

And Paula Devlin and James O'Byrne's Dealing With Disaster presentation was stunning. It was so inspiring to hear about the work their staff did while going through incredibly trying times. We all know copy editors are a tough bunch, but the Times-Picayune deskers truly are champs! Their video and slideshow are very moving, as well as personal: It includes photos of both Paula's and James' destroyed homes. The first person who spoke during the Q&A period suggested having tissues in the audience when they present the session Saturday. (I'll work on that!) Thank you, Paula and James, for sharing your story with us!

One more note on the reception last night... I was so bummed that I didn't get one of the mini creme brulees. They were gone by the time I limped over to the dessert table.

Now, on to Day 2!

Mfff

OK, so I didn't actually try one of the mashed potato martinis. But I can see the potential for a nasty accident if you had a regular one in one hand and a potato one in the other.

Shaken, not stirred

OK, I just ran downstairs for a minute because I forgot to flip over the signs at the breakout rooms from Thursday to Friday. But then Scott asked me to help him make more bidding sheets for the auction. So then I had to check the blog really quick... and Chris is bagging on the mashed potato bar?? That was the coolest part of the reception. My mashed potato martini tasted better than the vodka one (or two) I was drinking. But back to those bidding sheets...

Mashed potato martinis

I was bold and tried the mashed potato martini as well, with some sour cream and cheese, just to make it interesting. And I can safely say that I did not look nearly as cool as Deirdre did with a martini glass in each hand.

The reception last night was good. I was a little skeptical at first about having the headline presentation then. But it ended up turning out really well, Chris. Everyone was quiet during the presentation, and having the headline winners rotate on the screen all night was a stroke of brilliance.

Timothy bleary's bed

It’s well after bedtime, and I’m bone-tired (whatever that means) and probably shouldn’t even be near a keyboard at this point, but I have to say it’s been a terrific day. Among other things, I’m happy to have made it through my first couple public appearances as ACES president.

From what I can tell, the first day of this conference went smoothly — despite the awful situation with the hotel elevators. If you were in Louisville, where the elevators were something out of Dante’s seventh circle … well, this may be the eighth. Of the four elevators in the building, only two (possibly one) are working today. I’ve given up and resorted to the stairs, which are pretty well hidden, but Neil has kindly taped magic-markered signs to them, to direct people between the third and fourth floors. NOTE: The rumors that the stairs aren’t for public use and lock behind you once you’re in the stairwell are urban myths. The hotel staff assures us they’re for everyone to use, and they encourage it while the elevators are being renovated. Any thought otherwise is strictly out of Alfred Hitchcock, or some other twisted dream.

One thought on the reception: Doing the headline awards then was a singularly stupid idea (mine) — although having a repeating PowerPoint show of the winning heads was a singularly good one. We’ll retrench on this next year.

And excuse me … mashed-potato martini bar? Garlic, please … with an olive.

And so to bed. The coffee we’ll be drinking in the morning at thirty-some bucks a gallon will be well worth the money. Make mine a double.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A session less traveled

I decided to overlook the Clevelander wisdom of "seize the day; it may snow tomorrow" and catch the Sports in the News session, which I had suggested, while everyone else heard Paula Devlin and James O'Byrne describe editing in the midst of Hurricane Katrina.

I'm determined that there will be no earthquakes, typhoons or power failures in Cleveland between now and Saturday, so I can catch their reprise.

My choice was a success, in that the four sports presenters -- Tracy Dodds, Bob Keim, Dave Bennett and Jay Wang -- all had a lot to say and didn't mince words. They had a respectable audience and stirred quite a number of questions.

The single firmest idea of the afternoon? If you're thinking of combining the news and sports desks, take a deep breath and think of something else. Sports editing is, well, different, and you can't do it well if you aren't both a good editor and a lover of sports -- and it helps a lot to know the details.

There was a lot more on many topics, and Tracy ought to be doing color on TV. It was a good time and, for me, a nice step outside the usual.

Thursday's buzz

Is there an exceptional buzz on the opening day of the conference this year or am I just particularly tuned to it? My experience at past ACES conferences -- first as a new guest, eventually as a presenter, and then as a board member-elect -- is that Thursday was the slightly uncomfortable, slightly awkward, break-the-ice, get-to-know-people day, when we all would nervously approach each other, introduce ourselves and actually (gasp) talk. Then Thursday night arrives and the opening reception and the drinks, and things loosen up. By Friday, you've made new friends and you're hanging out together. By Saturday, the dress gets a little more casual and your hugging everybody by nightfall. But I feel more comfort on this year's first day -- such a buzz, how exciting!

Chris gave quite an opening speech, did he not? I told him he even had some cadence in it. Conference veep Deirdre, I see, is more relaxed now that the conference has begun. After the opening reception, my day began with my own presentation on finance in the A section, and I was relieved to see some 30 people actually wanted to come to it. My Mac froze right at the beginning -- the very thing I had feared for weeks -- but it recovered nicely. More importantly, the class was quite willing to discuss the issue and offered a lot of good insights. I saw eager crowds in the sessions I peeked in on later. Doug Ward presented his People Editing seminar, surviving computer problems as well with his engaging speaking and good advice on working with colleagues up, sideways and down, and he brought in the guests' experiences as well. Alex Cruden of course was delightful discussing his experience filling in as city editor (also presenting notes from Teresa Schmedding, who did the same thing but couldn't make the conference on Thursday because of staffing problems at a time when she was flexible enough to let four of her staffers attend the whole conference). I saw Marie Hardin filling in for Rich Holden instructing on ever-important math in journalism, while attendees tried to solve the worksheet.

Later I was part of a huge crowd in the giant Gold Room who sat perfectly silent while Paula Devin and James O'Byrne of the Times-Picayune discussed their Katrina ordeal, using gripping video, still-shocking photos and their personal experiences. It was remarkable. If you at the conference didn't get to it, they're doing the presentation again on Saturday. If you have colleagues who complain about their work life -- about hours, equipment, work stations, pencils, what have you -- tell them about the T-P, not only about how they dealt with Katrina but how they prepared for hurricanes every year (imagine sleeping on the floor beside your cubicle!). I'm now hoping the video and photos we saw are available for anyone to show their staffs.

#

When Connolly offers advice, take it

Despite the Wednesday night fun at Flannery's Pub ... and then the Winking Lizard ... and then the hotel lobby, I managed to register this morning and make it to the first session on time. I went to "Do You Really Want to Be the Boss?" with William Connolly, Marlene Bagley, Sara Hendricks and Scott Toole.

They laid out some pros (pay, prestige, a bigger chance to make a difference) and cons (longer hours, meetings, putting up with cranky underlings and overlings). Connolly made the point that you may lose friends once you become a manager: He had a friend once, he said, who thought he was a genius when they were peers. But once he became that friend's boss, he became the stupidest man alive.

Another suggestion: Don't holler and lose your cool. And if you do have to lose your cool, do it behind closed doors.

The main message was that a good copy editor who gets a promotion won't necessarily be a good manager. My thought: Taking promotion for promotion's sake could end up hurting your career in the long run if you're no good at managing.

And, Deirdre, my feet hurt, too. Is it wrong to switch to flip-flops midday?

My feet hurt

It's a little early to start whining, but... my feet hurt. And I'm even wearing my fancy schmancy Dansko clogs, so they shouldn't. I guess I'm just tired from not sleeping. There's nothing like the idea of speaking in front of 400 copy editors to keep one awake at night. (But the conference continues to rock!)

Off to a rockin' start

It's rolling: The 2006 ACES conference in Cleveland has started and it's really great to see so many familiar faces from Hollywood. It's also good to see so many Northern California journalist here -- more than I expected. (Name dropping: Clare Noonan from Modesto, Craig Lancaster from San Jose, Tim Yagle from the Marin I-J and more)

I started the morning with Merrill Perlman's seminar, which I missed last year. I wasn't disappointed. There are so many pesky pitfalls copy editors encounter on a daily basis, and we often have little time to reflect.

By the numbers

Some stat's on this year's event from Chris's opening comments:

  • 60 sessions by 80 speakers
  • More than 400 attendees
The opening remarks from Chris Wienandt were great, and I really liked the Q&A. I know some are sad to see John McIntyre absent for the first time, but Chris has done a tremendous job continuing the society's mission. Ten years and still going strong.

Speaking of what's new, have you seen the Web site? After the site finally loading onto the Internet Cafe's computers, I got to see it and I'm impressed. Goodbye, old discussion board. The new one, which uses PHPBB2 (sorry, I'm a computer nerd), is a much-needed improvement and categorizes the discussions. It's a must-see.

If you are from Northern California and haven't bumped into me yet, you'll be able to find me tomorrow at the merchandise table from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Also, for those wanting to start a chapter (or just to break the ice), feel free to ask about how things are going for us. I think we're the newest chapter and, after a year and half, things have been going swimmingly.

Oh, and one more thing: I'll be posting photos online and will be happy to post yours, too. Drop me an e-mail at daniel@norcalaces.org.

Oh, and another thing

I had the chance to thank The Plain Dealer's top leaders for their support from the podium today, and noted a couple of the local ACES committee folks who worked so hard this past year, but I should give more credit where it's due:

Besides The Plain Dealer's managers, who backed us to the hilt, and Amy Richards and Rona Proudfoot from the committee, I should -- I'm too old for this, but what's the expression, "give a shout-out" to Doug Kramer, helping with shifting boxes and bags; Felipe Nieves, who hosted the ACES merchandise for months and hustled downtown on a day off with the last couple of boxes; Mike Mentrek, who's going to be surprised Friday when he sees the list of participants in the PD Newsroom Tour; Marty Stefka of the PD systems office, who's on his way downtown at the moment to fix a printer connection in Cafe ACES; his boss Dennis Webb, for all they put into the computers; and; and ... I'm going to be sputtering out thank-yous for the rest of the weekend.

Jeepers, I KNOW these people

That faraway look on my face doesn't mean I'm stoned. I'm probably noticing someone I knew from an earlier conference or an earlier job and discovering, once again, that whatever mental connection I made long ago (like, before breakfast) isn't working. Ken Hall from Ottaway Newspapers probably won't mind my admitting that when I saw him Wednesday, I leaped to "Campbell Hall!" and just as immediately remembered that's the village in New York where he works .... and stopped in confusion.
About half the 400-some participants here today are first-timers and the rest of us are second- through tenth-timers -- so it really is possible to reconnect with an old friend from, say, 2000.

Here we go!

The conference is under way! ... Chris and I survived speaking at the opening session, and now the first block of workshops is in progress. Brian Throckmorton is packing them in for Zing on Demand: Creativity in Headlines. Merrill Perlman has a good crowd, too, for If I Knew Only. Bill Connolly's panel Do You Really Want to Be the Boss also has a full house. It's a beautiful day in Cleveland, too. I'm going to make myself leave the hotel for lunch so I can enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday and into the newspaper future

Tuesday night, most of the ACES Executive Committee has arrived. Already at dinner and at the bar afterward we're discussing such weighty topics as the future of newspapers, the effect the Web is having on newspapers and how newspapers are reacting to it, our hiring freezes, and whether we'll retire at a print publication or not. We've welcomed new board members and already are getting some new and needed perspectives (Gerri B. and the small-newspaper world). There's a lot to discuss about our ever-changing business. The 10th-anniversary ACES conference starting Thursday (or Wednesday night if you catch colleagues at the bar upon your arrival) looks to be as exciting, relevant and important as ever.