Howard Owens is a digital media pioneer. He started publishing local news online in 1995 when very few local news outlets had web sites. The header image on the site depicts the film camera he used early in his career and the press pass from his year on the staff of the Carlsbad Journal. For more on Howard's professional background, read his LinkedIn profile.
HowardOwens.com is the personal web site of Howard Owens and covers his range of interests -- political localism and libertarianism, music and personal interests, as well as his professional interests.
Howard is currently publisher of The Batavian and lives in Batavia, N.Y.
- Bob Netherton on Why I’m rooting for Vance Albitz
- seagazer101 on ‘Lede’ vs. ‘Lead’
- Pamela Lagahid on IFRA launches second vertical search engine for media
- kapiyo on My new Nikon F4
- bradleyplunk on Chris Tolles brings some stats to the anonymous vs. registration debate
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Daily Archives: January 11, 2007
|Song||Vicky and Jackie
NOTE: My goal with “MP3 of the Day” is to find great, free, non-DRM MP3 downloads. If you have a tip for a good source, leave a comment. Continue reading
Slashdot: “Do you tell a job candidate how badly they did?”
My interview process goes like this:
- Sort through resumes and pick the five or six most qualified candidates
- Phone interview, with questions aimed at determining skill and experience level and hone in on whether the candidate has the right stuff for the job
- For those who make the cut, usually no more than three, an in-person interview, where my questions are designed to determine talents and tendencies
On step one, resumes that don’t make the cut go back to HR with no further action on my part. On step two, candidates who won’t get called in for an in-person interview will be told why. I try to be nice, but I also want to be fair and honest. If there is something a candidate can do to improve, he or she deserves to know what my evaluation is. I may be wrong, but it’s up to the candidate to decide whether to take my advice or feedback. On step three, if the candidate is ruled out in that interview, I’ll give some feedback on improvements, unless something has come up that makes me think the person is of a personality type not to care or listen. The hardest call to make is to the guy whom I like, but just got beat out.
In every case where I think the person has a bright future, but just isn’t right for the job I need to fill, I want to be as helpful as I can be. I’ve been around long enough to know that the person I don’t hire today, might be the perfect hire for something else tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s realistic to hire somebody you’ve previously turned down — I’ve never had that opportunity — but you never know. At least, I think people deserve an opportunity learn and grow, and if I can do one small thing to help in that regard, then maybe the process has been worthwhile. Continue reading
If you’re not using LinkedIn, you’re not really serving your professional life very well.
Guy Kawasaki offers ten tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn. I think I’ve used every tip to some degree at one time or another. LinkedIn proved especially useful during my most recent job search, and I realized if I had put it to better use a year earlier, I would have been better off all the way around.
But LinkedIn isn’t just for finding jobs or finding potential hires. It’s also for keeping abreast of colleagues and your industry. For example, I always find it interesting to read new connections of other newspaper executives — they’re often to non-newspaper people I’ve never heard of before working at interesting companies, which might give a clue about new ideas about to surface.
My LinkedIn profile is linked under “pages” in the right nav. Continue reading
My previous post on boring slideshows generated a fair amount of comment and a good deal of disagreement.Â In this Poynter interview with Joe Weiss, the inventor of SoundSlides, Weiss seems to imply that yes, there are a lot of boring slideshows on newspaper sites, and he offers an antidote.
The most important thing is not your photojournalism. The most important thing is not your audio journalism. The most important thing, overall, above anything else, amen, to the end of it, is the story and how well you communicate that to the human being who’s on the other side of that computer.
Of course, if you’re thinking of the best way to tell the story, the best way to make it meaningful for a site visitor, you’re knee-jerk reaction won’t necessarily be an audio slideshow. If you’re thinking about all of the options, you will also consider video. Continue reading
All of you journalists at big, unstable metros hoping for a multi-billionaire to save your ass, please read this Michael Wolff column. It should scare the crap out of you.
A couple of interesting thoughts on hyperlocal community.
First, Susan Mernit:
One thing it’s hard not to mention when we get into this hyperlocal, sustainable business question is the issue of scale. Most of the really good–and viable–hyperlocal sites–are small businesses that serve a focused audience, with decent ad revenues but nothing like the big numbers VCs need for their $5 to $13 MM investments. Sites like Jonathan Weber’s New West Network, George Johnson’s Buffalo Rising, Jarah Euston’s recently sold Fresno Famous and Deb Galant’s Baristanet–as well as Lisa William’s H20town–work because they are small and focused, because they have the same focus and value as hand-crafted cigars–they’re not meant to be big networks creating tons of shareholder value–they’re services for a specific time and place–built by a participant.
We believe the big opportunity in user generated content is aggregation. My blog will only generate $30k per year in revenue. But Techmeme, which occasionally links to my blog, can generate a lot more. Because they aggregate the content of hundreds, maybe thousands of blogs.
So where does this leave newspaper sites? I still believe that there is a place for newspapers to provide a community platform for participation, but newspaper.coms cannot forget their roles as aggregators and deeply involved participation leaders. Continue reading
Eat the Press has a few theories about why the media is fascinated with Second Life, and none of them have anything to do with the business value of SL.
I still say SL is a nice toy, a fun place to play (or looks like it, as I’ve never done it), but makes is a horrible place to spend R&D resouces, no matter how liberal your R&D policy or how innovative you think you are. Continue reading
Jeremy Mayes participated in a test of Google print ads and found the results less than impressive, and concludes:
I will say that based on the results form the test the newspaper ads would have to be pretty inexpensive for this model to work in certain markets, and, tracking results at the level in which PPC managers are accustomed too isn’t there – or it least it wasn’t there for me.
I think overall there is potential for this program – pricing, trackability and ease of setup/scheduling will be three of the biggest issues from what I can tell.