Reporting live from the Adirondacks

Melissa Stagnaro

My tagging along with the Leadership Project trip to the Adirondacks was a first in many ways, including for the Evening Sun. Never before had a reporter gone on assignment and been able to keep in constant contact with not just our editor, but with our readers.

Because of the availability of wireless internet access at the places we stayed, I was able to posted blogs daily from my laptop. Via my cell phone, I was also able to use Twitter to give even more frequent updates on the group’s activities. And as often as I could, I posted pictures, also through a Twitter application called Twitpic.

We have been talking about how we could apply the technology for while, but hadn’t really had an opportunity to put it to use and to the test until now.

From the road, I couldn’t tell how many people, if any, were following all of those updates, so I was blown away when I got back. When I checked the stats on Twitpic, I discovered that most of the pictures had been viewed about 200 times each. The group photo with Olympic Gold Medalist Jeff Blatnick had more than 280!

That made me wonder about the blogs, which we don’t usually see stats for. I was thrilled when I found out that the “Thank you for sharing” post I’d made on Sunday actually broke the record for the most pageviews of any reporter blog on I thought that was pretty cool.

The decision to send me along on the trip was made rather last minute, and we really didn’t promote the fact that I would be going or posting updates to the site. I can’t help wondering how high those numbers would have been if we had.

I’ve gotten great feedback from a lot of parents who had children that participated in the retreat, but a lot of other community members as well. They said they really liked being able to keep up with what the students were doing each day. One parent said they were actually checking the site hourly for updates. Another told me family members in other parts of the country were following along as well. I’d say that makes the test a success.

I’ll have at least a couple of more entries about the trip. And I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of pictures that we’ll be sharing as well. So keep checking back!