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Technology changing everything

­­Twenty-five years ago, I stood in a newsroom in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., with a razor blade and a waxing machine putting a newspaper together in my first job. I used chemicals and an enlarger to develop film and print photographs.

And while I typed on a keyboard computer much like I use today, the software was little more than a word processor.

Fast forward to the mid-1990s. Digital cameras and the Internet were in their infancy, but growing quickly. It became fashionable to have email. And small laptop computers could do more than those word processors from the 1980s.

Fast forward again to about 2012, when tablets and smart phones became all the rage. My daughter came home one day to tell me her school was doing away with paper and her classes would be on tablets and assignments would come in email.

Needless to say, today, you can’t walk down the street without bumping into a kid who’s too busy texting to look up from the telephone.

With the dramatic changes in technology in recent years, it only stands to reason that businesses would have to adapt. Well, here at The Chronicle, we’re making that leap into the new technology.

You may have noticed substantial changes in our website over the last six months. We now have Twitter embedded in our Web page. And we have video and audio capabilities.

We’ve also upgraded our e-edition. With an e-edition subscription, you can read all the newspapers back to about 2004 on your computer, tablet and even smart phone.

But throughout those changes, we’ve still been working on the same old desktop computers we’ve been using for years.

Not any more.

Beginning this week, when you interact with our advertising sales team or our newsroom reporters, there’ll be fewer notepads. There will be fewer trips back and forth to the office and fewer emails. Yet, you will still expect our staff to keep up with your advertising and news needs.

Sounds like a dilemma in the making. But thanks to technology, everything changes.

This week, our advertising and reporting teams will be stepping into the world of tablet technology. In short, their tablets have created mobile offices to work from, even in rural areas of the Okanogan.

But for us to effectively use the technology, we’ll need your help. Our staff will need to access wireless Internet from their “mobile offices.”

For example, reporters at city hall will need to be able to access a wireless Internet system to file stories while on site. And our sports editor will need to be able to transmit photos and stories from the local high school gym.

As for advertising, our sales staff will need to be able to access email to send and receive data for you, their clients.

I’m sure we’re going to experience some bumps along the way. But as with all businesses, we must adapt with the times.

In the end, our adaptations will mean a more timely, vibrant news product for readers, and a more efficient advertising and marketing vehicle for businesses and government agencies.

Roger Harnack is the editor and publisher of The Chronicle. He can be reached at 509-826-1110 or via email at rharnack@omakchronicle.com.

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