rant about moving

I called Dish Network last week to cancel my account. The guy said that I jsut needed to call back and it would only take five minutes to cancel, so I could call back the day i wanted to end service.

I realized later that I have a Dish DVR, which I guessed I had to return.

So I can tonight and get someone. She says that their service is down and she can’t help me. I tell her what the last guy said and apparently they need to send me boxes that would take 15 days to get there.

Would have been nice to know the first time I called.

So I ask if it’s just the DVR and remote they need and she says she doesn’t know, because the systems are down (by this time she’s not very nice, which I find odd, because I’m not being combative at all, just curious). She said there is some IM something I would also need to return. I ask her what that is and she repeats that she doesn’t’ know, the system is down. Well if you can tell me that people generally need to return it, I would hope you know what that thing is.

I am hoping they don’t need the physical dish back because it was already installed when I moved in.

I suppose I’ll have to call tomorrow and possibly move my DVR with me. This is more than annoying.

Whatever happened to customer service? First Amazon, now Dish?

worth it?

I was reading this post written by an intern, which in my opinion is a scary place to be.

It’s one thing to be in journalism and try to hold on, it’s another to be entering the field and have hope.

I’m glad Jessica has hope. I agree with her that things have to and will change. We will all have jobs, we will all still be journalists, but we’ll be doing something different.

I am tired of hyperlocal being toted as the savior. Innovation is the savior. I’ve watched hyperlocal fail.

We need to find a way to deliver the news to people, quickly, instantly and well.

Does it mean Twitter will be a newsroom or that papers will all be on the Kindle? No idea.

I think first, we need to think about catching up. Media needs to start hiring people (ahem, me) that use the web the way that the next generation does. We need to stop being afraid of change and “scaring readers.” It’s great to hold onto the things that the rapidly aging stereotypical newspaper reader likes, but really, they will not be the ones buying ads and subscriptions in 20 years.

Make your site mobile friendly. It’s ridiculous how many sites are not. I, and most people I know have a Blackberry or iPhone or at least Internet on their phones. Get used to it.

Get a Twitter feed and use it well. Establish a presence, even if it’s not the best, on all the other social networking sites.

Fix your RSS feeds, for God’s sake. Make sure they all work, and there is one for every section, every blog, every columnist.

Redesign your site so you don’t look like you came from 1995.

Train all your photographers to do video, and while you’re at it, the reporters too.

Have everyone try liveblogging and at least understand what this new fangled social media is about and how it works.

One of my friends recently told me her newspaper didn’t even have blogs. Really? And you ask why people won’t log onto the site?

Let your staff try new things and let them fail. Know when to give up, when to try again and when to start.

Maybe it’s because I’m an idealist, 25 and want to have hope that this will all come out for the better, but I don’t see why this is so hard. This is not a curmudgeon versus rookie debate. Let’s stop fighting. It’s ridiculous the amount of space and time that journalists spend arguing about why we are failing. I don’t care. Figure out who is succeeding and ask yourselves why they can do it, but you can’t.

It is worth it, if you take the time to try.

moving on

I read this article by one of the founders of SmartNow.com today.

On top of that I’ve been Twittering with some folks about being laid off. I feel it’s cathartic for me to write it out.

On top of that I’ve started journaling again. I’m trying visual journaling. Doodling seems easier than writing any more right now.

Julie Wainwright’s words hit me, though. This part:

I built my image of myself on two main supporting pillars. When those collapsed, I did too. What I mean is that I had defined myself as someone who was smart and could figure things out and also someone who was entering middle age as a married woman. The “smart” definition was fostered from my childhood. I was the oldest of four children with a mother who was ill and a father who worked long hours to make ends meet. Whenever I asked my parents a question, they would say: “You are smart, what do you think?” Believing I was smart helped me survive a hard family situation and still make top honors in school. I never bought into being a “pretty” girl; I was the smart one. I was not smart enough for Pets.com. I failed publicly. After more than 20 years of good to great business successes, I had crashed and burned.

For a long time, I’ve recognized that I have defined myself by my work. Work was everything to me. I had a good social life and I have a loving boyfriend, but work was what made me get up in the morning.

I am a journalist. Even my personal site says so. I am a journalist, a writer, a nerd. Those are work terms. They have nothing to do with me being a Asian American woman, in her 20s. I don’t define myself by my love of cooking, spicy food, my cat, yoga, reading until 5 a.m.

Perhaps this is why I, and other journalists, take the failure of the industry so hard. This is who I am. I am made up of newsprint and soy ink, or at least it feels that way. I am ingrained in content management systems and what social media can do for us.

I still read Romenesko. My ultimate dream? A newspaper hires me to be a web producer and wants and appreciates doing new things. Trying something different. The Boy is there at my side, egging me on, as he always does.

Pretty sad and simple dream.

I don’t know that defining myself by my work is an ultimate failure on my part, but it’s making this, sitting in my pajamas at noon with no intention of changing, harder.

I am coming to terms with the idea that I might not find a job in journalism. There are few and though my talents are rare, they do not fill newshole. That’s the main concern, it seems, for many papers. Not getting things on the web.

We had a blackout at a paper I worked out. I was saying I could take the computers to my house, get the whole paper on the web right now, so reporters wouldn’t lose days of work. They were worried about where to print the paper. The main concern was getting he print product out. Web was an afterthought.

The sports and features reporters lost all their work and those stories were never printed. Or put online.

I am a journalist, but I may not be practicing. That’s what happens, I guess.