RYAN C. TUCK: Never Offline: ThePilot.Com Keeps You Informed 24/7
"It's nice to meet you. I'm Ryan Tuck, the online news coordinator for The Pilot. I'm never offline. Contact me any time with any questions or suggestions for our Web site, ThePilot.com."
That seems like a daunting promise to keep, yes. But I've always loved a challenge.
My simple charge is to help make The Pilot a constant source for information. We're renowned for putting out three quality issues each week -- that has not changed. But couldn't we do more?
What if something happens after 6 p.m., when most of the news staff is at home enjoying some much-needed rest? What if something happens on a Sunday, when most Pilot employees come no closer to work than the papers at the end of their driveways?
I'm hoping you will find that ThePilot.com will be there on all such occasions.
Your town government holds its regularly scheduled business meeting. Because it falls on a Tuesday night, it might be Friday before you know what happened, right? Check ThePilot.com the next day and you should be pleased to find information on the most important items from the meeting.
Many of the results of the U.S. Kids Golf Championship, under way this week, surely will only be in Sunday's edition, right? ThePilot.com will boast updates on the action after each round.
In short, we hope you will come to know the 24/7, regenerative news operation that doesn't sleep -- thepilot.com
And me? I'm just the guy who rides the wacky wave of news. Your stories, your moments -- we're committed to sharing them at all times.
Take our new, revamped Photo Gallery, for example. We have a new "Submit Your Photos" feature at the top of the page, through which you can drop me an e-mail with pictures that you'd like to share. Check out other readers' moments and stories at http://photogallery.thepilot.com/main. php.
Got some photos of the grandkids or your pets that you'd like to share? Click, tell me who it is, attach the photos, press "send," and they'll be online -- moments of pride that you can share with your entire community. (Also feel free to drop them off in person at our office.)
Improved access and interactivity are other aspects of our retooled Web operations.
Check back soon for other ways to share your stories directly with your community in the way of blogs, an online calendar and comment features on articles.
And what of those stories? If you've visited the Web site in the past month, hopefully you've noticed all sorts of headlines that start with "Web" or "Podcast."
Those are early steps in our push to make the Web site the most comprehensive source for information on Moore County.
We produce a regular "Headlines Podcast" each Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday with news from around your community and stories that are coming in the next day's print edition. Log in to ThePilot.com, click "Listen to the podcast" and you'll hear the day's news brought to you by staffers of The Pilot and guests in a new, more interactive way.
As for the "Web" stories, those are the ones that occur between publication dates. Our three award-winning editions will still boast the full slate of stories, but many developments will begin to unfold on the Web site before the edition hits the streets.
It's a big job, yes, one that at times can wear even my heavily caffeinated, 22-year-old body down. But it's this sort of community journalism, more than caffeine, that really gives me a jolt.
After Aberdeen Post 72's run through the junior American Legion state baseball championship this past week -- which received a full update online after each game -- Pilot sports writer Charlie Bergmann shared a few comments he had received from team parents and relations. After a roller-coaster win Sunday, one parent hugged Bergmann during the pandemonium and thanked him for the coverage he had provided along with the rest of The Pilot's sports staff.
The next day, after the Diamond won yet another elimination game, a team grandparent called with congratulations on the victory that she had read about at ThePilot.com.
Those sorts of stories are what warm my heart and grease the tracks for continued work. We will never relent in our determination to cover your stories better than anyone else. And if we can, even in a small way, help you to air your stories to your community, all our work is more than worth it.
Ryan C. Tuck is The Pilot's online news coordinator. This is the first of a regular column about The Pilot's Web operations. Contact Tuck by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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