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A week well spent on NewsOK

by Alan Herzberger Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm •  Published: March 4, 2011

See below for another week of news and notes as NewsOK navigated another week in 2011.


Darnell just a little off his prediction

Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry held his weekly live chat on NewsOK on Monday. Shortly after the chat, we posted an article with the highlights from the chat. The headline? Darnell Mayberry: 99.9 percent chance Kendrick Perkins signs long term with OKC Thunder. It became the most-viewed article on the site that afternoon. Then, take a guess what happened the next day? This headline happened: Thunder signs Kendrick Perkins to extension. Yep. Darnell missed it. We had an uncomfortable meeting with him late Tuesday afternoon. He needs to be more accurate. Obviously, he should have said it was a 100-percent chance. (That’s a joke.) But here’s the take-away. Darnell knows what he’s talking about. Here’s the other take-away. Participate in Darnell’s live chat every Monday to find out what will happen on Tuesday.


Ed Godfrey joins our personalities

We added another personality to our list this week. Welcome outdoors expert Ed Godfrey to our family of personality pages on You can find his blog posts, his columns, his articles, his Twitter posts and even like him on Facebook. And check him out each month (the first Friday of each month) for a live chat that he does on NewsOK, hosted by and sponsored by H&H Gun Range.


Another complaint about comments

I received a message this week from a user who was not happy about our commenting policy on NewsOK. “What’s with all the commenting disabled crap? No wonder you people are going out of business.” I explained it to him (but I did not address the false claim that a changing business model is the same as ‘going out of business’) … “We routinely disable comments on articles about fatalities and on local crime stories. That’s a decision we made years ago in an effort to maintain a constructive and civil dialogue. And we’ve disabled comments on articles where the discourse has become increasingly destructive. We are unable to moderate every comments on every article, so we rely on user moderation. At times, even that becomes unmanageable. Is there a particular article you were referring to?” This did not please him, and he brought up another news outlet in our state (one that we share content with, but not every business decision with) : “Then why does Tulsa World not have this problem. I have noticed it on more than just fatality stories. Just forget it. I see why newspapers are going under.” I share this interchange just to prove that I can’t please every unhappy customer. If you want to see what I’ve written about our comments in the past, just go here.


OKC Skyline cam angle

We received a couple of messages from customers on our site that want to see a better view from our camera that keeps an eye on the Devon tower. One didn’t like the view we showed of the sky or the one that pointed down. Another didn’t like the view of the completed middle section. Frankly, that tower keeps growing on us, and moving the camera to get a perfect angle is difficult. We rotate among several angles, and depending on when you are looking and what they’ve completed, the view you see might not be your favorite. All that said, we will work to improve that experience.

Best OK Tweeter!

I was forwarded this link this week: Political analyst Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post apparently named our own NewsOK Politics twitter feed as the best political tweeter in Oklahoma. My response? Actually, I’m quite happy that we’re providing good analysis for those around the country. My other response? When I graduated from journalism school in 1997, I never expected that 14 years later I would be honored to receive an email with the subject line, “best ok tweeter.”


Bombing site worth another look

We had a story this week about former President George W. Bush being honored with the 2011 Reflections of Hope Award by the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. That gave us an opportunity to drive readers to our Oklahoma City Bombing archive website, something we probably don’t do enough of. I don’t really know what to say about this site, other than that I recommend everyone visiting it. I’m humbled to have been able to work on that site a few years back. It’s a site I expect we will always have room for on our servers.


Live-blogging the Oscars

Brandy McDonnell and George Lang covered the Academy Awards last Sunday night about as well as any duo of entertainment experts in Oklahoma can cover it. Their blogs were entertaining and informative. And the best thing about them? If you didn’t get a chance to follow them on Sunday night, they still make a good read a week later. Check out Brandy’s here. See George’s here.


New sponsor for BAM

We’d like to welcome the Oklahoma City Museum of Art as a presenting sponsor of Brandy McDonnell’s blog. The OKCMOA picked a good one … Brandy’s BAM blog has been the most-popular blog on NewsOK for about three years now. You can also find the museum’s sponsorship on Brandy’s columns in the Weekend Look every Friday.


Shooting video

We had a tough judgment call this week when we received the dash-cam video of the police officers in Perry shooting a motorist who exited his car and moved toward the officers in a threatening manner. We had the article on the site, but the video really told the story. It showed the man acting as if he was holding a gun and acting as though he was about to fire. The video also shows the man going down after officers opened fire. We chose the show the entire  video because it documents the chase, the man’s actions and the speed with which the entire event went down. Showing the entire video allows the user to see and evaluate everything about the public servants’ actions. It shows our users Exactly how quickly officers have to make a decision. It also shows how deadly those split-second decisions are. We received a few complaints that I’m aware of. That’s understandable. These kinds of decisions are always hard to make.


Something extra for iPad readers

We offered our iPad edition subscribers something a little extra this week — downloadable PDF documents of the state basketball tournament brackets. It was a test as we enter basketball tournament season for both college and high school basketball. You can expect more documents like that in the future. And you can expect that experience to improve. But the bottom line is that we aim to continue to improve the experience for our iPad edition subscribers.


Election night in OKC

Tuesday night was a big night for followers of local politics. The Oklahoma City Council members were chosen, as well as many other important decisions around the metro area. All the results can be found on our NewsOK Politics election results page. That’s a good thing. What was even better is that these results could be found on NewsOK on Tuesday night shortly after the polls closed. As soon as we knew the results, so did our readers. No one covers elections and local politics like we do. Just look at our NewsOK Politics page. We think it’s important.


Most-viewed article

The most-viewed article this week was a little different that what we normally expect, but that’s a very good thing. We had a story about holiday offers at Walmart that were excluded in Oklahoma. Reporter Jennifer Palmer did a nice job explaining the issue. Yahoo! picked up the story and linked to it from their home page, which gave Jennifer’s report a nice lift and pushed it to be our move-viewed article on NewsOK this week.


Most-viewed video

The most-viewed video this week was a sports video. The new players for the Oklahoma City Thunder were interviewed on Saturday morning about their feelings about their trade. It was our first introduction to Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed. Thunder fans were interested.


Most-viewed blog post

Darnell’s post about Kendrick Perkins signing a new deal with the Thunder came close this week, but it was no match for Brandy McDonnell’s post about Mila Kunis and Amy Adams. I don’t really know much about Mila Kunis and Amy Adams, but they are both prettier than Kendrick Perkins. Maybe next week, Kendrick.
by Alan Herzberger
Digital Managing Editor
Alan Herzberger is the Digital Managing Editor for and The Oklahoman. He focuses on content within OPUBCO Communications Group’s variety of digital products. He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports...
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