Technical Training

By Sarah Barchus

Dive No.: Week Three (Four dives)
Location: Caught up in the Internet

Time in: 8 am
Time out: 5 pm

Total Bottom Time: about 32 hours

Depth: Technically deep

Starting Air Pressure: Filled with ocean breeze
Ending Air Pressure: Spare air

Exposure Protection:
˙ Business Casual
˙ Thinking cap
˙ Self-confidence
˙ Exposed to the electronic elements

Weight: Enlightened

Air: Some heat around due to the digital “debate”
On the surface: I think it’s pretty cool
Bottom line: It’s a hot topic

˙ Fresh water (Found new clarity)
˙ Salt water (Small tear shed for print)
˙ Water cooler (Emptier as people traveled)
˙ Shore (Visited it, but that doesn’t mean I’m just coasting along))
˙ Boat (Getting on board with the digital platform)
˙ Waves (Preparing to surf the web’s)

Visibility: Regardless of screen size, digital is the big picture

The changing tides I witnessed at the ocean’s shore last weekend when Patricia and her husband Tom were kind enough to cart me to the coast were echoed back at work this week.

Print has a place and it’s something I love to hold on to (and by its nature, I actually can), but its prospects are drying up. While this leaves some people salty, in order to stay afloat in the business one needs to venture into the digital deep. This week I submerged myself in some technical diving.

Patricia showed me how she keeps track of Sport Diver’s online success using Omniture. The numbers show the importance of sidling up to social networks. Note to self: make social media my friend and business colleague.

Speaking of colleagues, I had two new my divemasters this week: digital editor Cami Webb and Scuba Diving intern Ashley Annin.

Cami knows the ins and outs of the SEO system. She explained how to snag a search engine’s attention to ensure your content generates clicks. After chatting with her, things started to click with me. To be “see-worthy” word choice must not only be stylized, but also strategic.

I practiced these new tips when posting content to Sport Diver’s website this week, including an article with my byline! (It certainly was satisfying typing my name in the author’s box, knowing that now my name will show up in the drop-down menu in the future. Promising? I hope so.) I worked on choosing keywords that were more likely to hook a search engine’s attention by utilizing Google AdWord’s Keyword Tool, which Ashley introduced me to.
Here’s a link to the article:

And a peek at what it looks like:
Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 11.57.06 AM

Ashley gave me some great advice this week. She reiterated SEO’s importance and directed me toward “Click,” a book that gives tips for generating online readership. Ashley promoted self-education, encouraging me to research the industry outside of my classes.

Both Cami and Ashley shared how helpful LinkedIn has been for them. I previously thought of it as a networking site for professionals, which it is, but in my mind I didn’t fit that description. However, in the journalism field to become a professional you need to be one. Click.

That’s why I’ve chosen to use part of my day off to do some digital diving on my own. Usually it’s unwise to dive alone, but I have little fear because I know that the world converges online, so I will hardly be lacking for company.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *