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I'm an assistant professor at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where I teach and research how news sites can better reach their audiences. I received my Ph.D. from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri where I was one of the founding editors of MyMissourian.com, a citizen journalism site for Columbia, Mo. Before graduate school, I worked as a community newspaper editor in Southern Utah and Southern California.

A New Year begins! Time for some schedules!

I can’t believe I’ve done it. I’ve finished the month of December 2009 after blogging every day. I did it while traveling. I did it while sick. But most importantly, I did it. I don’t normally like to brag about things like this, but I figured the timing was right. I’m not as disciplined as I should be, but I’m hoping this accomplishment kicks off a fantastic 2010.

Don’t get me wrong. 2009 wasn’t bad. It was just busy, and I felt a lot of times like I was working for someone else. Now, I feel like I can finally start researching the things I want to know. Writing this blog every day this month has been a cathartic experience because at times it has made me realize I have some good ideas. Other times, it has helped to inspire me. In the end, it has made me realize that at the minimum I have a unique scientific perspective to offer to the journalism community.

In January, I probably won’t blog every day. I’m definitely taking Saturdays off. I might continue the religious and family theme on Sundays. The rest of the week is up in the air. But the first thing I’m going to do in the New Year tomorrow isn’t make resolutions. It’s making schedules. If NaBloPoMo has taught me anything, it’s that I need to schedule time for those things that are really important. So the schedule has me getting up at 7 and being in the office at 9. I’ve got an hour for Web research / blogging in the morning (read Farmville!) and then class preparation from 10 to noon. There are others things for the rest of the day, but I won’t bore you with the details. I just really feel good that I’ve accomplished a goal I’ve set, and I’m confident I can achieve others.

In a related note, friends have been posting on Facebook all day today what they were doing 10 years ago. I was half-buttedly covering the first First Night ceremony in St. George, Utah while wondering what Y2K was supposed to be all about. From my faculty friends, a common theme has emerged. No matter how exciting working that night was, they are almost all glad to be where they are today. One friend with a family posted his New Year’s celebration consisted of Dino Nuggets with the kids. I had to laugh because that’s exactly what we had for dinner too. We’ve got noisemakers and non-alcoholic sparkling cider planned for midnight, and like him, I wouldn’t trade this boring night at home for any other if it meant I’d be away from my children. Thanks for a great year everyone!

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