The SXSW Interactive conference is going great. Lots of interesting discussions, great people, and I've talked to several people that have some great ideas for AC360.com. I haven't had much time to blog, but twittering has been going well. Love getting your @replies on Twitter (although my blackberry doesn't make it easy to keep up... iPhone, please! 😉 Do the AC360 bosses read the blog on the weekend?)
So follow me on Twitter: KellyDanielCNN, and I look forward to posting some more in-depth blogs when I get back!
Hopefully you’ve noticed (and are enjoying!) some recent changes at AC360.com… Our staff is joining Anderson and Erica on the Live Blog each night. Our Facebook page is better than ever – make sure to become a fan! And there are more changes in the works!
In a few hours I’m heading to Austin, TX for the South by Southwest Interactive conference. It’s the biggest and best (that’s the only way Texas does anything, right?) internet/media/blog conference around. Everyone will be there to talk about the best of the web now and where everything is heading. Google, Facebook, all the big Internet names and all the small names that will be huge this time next year. One name in particular I’m looking forward to: Nate Silver, creator of FiveThirtyEight.com.
I’ll be blogging in between panels, talks, and the evening “networking events.” More frequently I’ll be Twittering, so follow me! KellyDanielCNN. Twitter launched at SXSWi two years ago, so it only seems fitting that I finally start updating my dormant Twitter page.
So, before I hit the road at 4:45AM Friday (not a time I can say I’m particularly fond of, unless if it’s accompanied by pancakes, eggs, and good friends after a long night), what would you like to see on AC360.com? What should I be on the lookout for at SXSWi?
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/31/nye.controlroomchaos3.jpg caption="Richard Morris (bottom right) plugging away in the control room." width=292 height=320]
Associate Producer, Campbell Brown: No Bias. No Bull.
This should be an easy show, right? Nope. Between laughing from the Anderson and Kathy hysteria to technical issues, this is far from a midnight picnic. This show is classically orchestrated weeks before we go to air, and when it comes time for broadcast, well it goes you know where.
Nonetheless, this is a great group of people to ring in the new year. Fortunately for us, we are warm in the chaotic control room. Phones ringing off the hook, people yelling over the raucous crowds in the field and just looking forward to midnight. From 12 on, it is all warm and fuzzy, watching the east coast revelers, and watching the midwest getting ready for their countdown.
Stick around, there are many laughs to be had.
PS. Happy New Years!!!
There was plenty of chaos and yelling, and there’s more to come here in the New Year’s Eve show control room as we count down to midnight in the Central Time Zone. But under all that there’s plenty of excitement. And even though I’m working on New Year’s Eve, as we all took a sip of a fizzy drink at the stroke of midnight, I couldn’t help but think this ranks pretty near the top of my New Year’s celebrations.
It’s been a great year for AC360 and AC360.com, and there’s lots more to come in 2009.
Happy New Year!
The election may be over, but there's no reason to set aside politics this holiday season. Whether you're hoping to amuse or anger your friends and family, there are plenty of political gift options this year. And at some sites you can support a political party:
Human Events, a conservative news source and website, is sending emails on behalf of their advertisers offering The Sarah Palin 2009 Wall Calender, "a personal look at Alaska's governor" with "never before seen photos" of Sarah and family.
Not to be left out, Democrats can celebrate the holidays and Obama's election with a coffee mug dedicated to the President-elect. From the Obama campaign website: "This holiday season, celebrate our historic victory with a limited edition Obama coffee mug. Your donation will support the Democratic National Committee and help recover the enormous resources they committed to this campaign."
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/11/art.ambulance.jpg caption="An ambulance transports people injured by a tornado that touched down a Boy Scout camp near Little Sioux, Iowa, Wednesday evening."]
Tonight we threw out everything we spent hours planning for the show; a tornado hit a Boy Scout camp in Little Sioux, Iowa, and we were getting reports of injuries and fatalities. We focused first on getting in contact with eyewitnesses and Iowa officials, then getting them on the air to get you the latest information.
What’s interesting about a control room during breaking news is that it’s very hard to get a grasp on what is happening. Each night I work on graphics, adding text, backgrounds, maps, and other art to the show. From the back row I can keep a handle on who we have on the phone for interviews, what names need to go on screen, and what information the producers want in our graphics on the television screen. But it’s hard to hear what the guests are saying because there is so much commotion; who’s going on next, when are we going to break, what video can we play, what are our affiliates airing?
Here’s what CNN is reporting, much of it from our guests on AC360° this evening:
We already have correspondents traveling to western Iowa to bring a full report tomorrow. And I am on my way home to hear what our guests had to say – the show re-airs at 1a.
With gas over $4 a gallon, everyone is looking for ways to cope. American Airlines just announced they are raising the price of domestic flights by $20 round trip. (And this is only a few short weeks since they started charging $15 for the first piece of checked luggage.)
But could it be more eco-friendly to take a commercial airliner than to drive?
It all comes down to miles per gallon per person – not something we tend to think about when deciding between a coupe and a minivan. And although an airliner may only get 2.4 gallons per nautical mile, that’s split among all the passengers. It can actually be greener to fly than to drive long distances.
Cheaper may be another story, particularly as airlines pile on the fees.
You can read how Miles O’Brien crunched the numbers and also read some tips he got about squeezing every mile out of your gas tank here.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/06/art.jobfair.jpg caption="Job seekers at the 7th annual Employment and Training Collaborative of Hope Central Career Fair Thursday, June 5, 2008, in Los Angeles."]
First, some Raw Data:
What do the presumptive presidential nominees have to say about it? Each claims that the other man has the wrong idea about how to fix the problem.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/23/art.hagee.jpg caption="Rev. John Hagee"]
As we went on the air last night, we learned that Sen. John McCain was not only rejecting Rev. John Hagee's endorsement, but also Rev. Rod Parsley's. Hagee seemed to imply that Adolf Hitler was carrying out God's will during the Holocaust when he said in a sermon:
"God says in Jeremiah 16: 'Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. ... Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.' That would be the Jews. ... Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter."
Hagee also offended Catholics, calling the Catholic church "the great whore" and "the apostate church." Hagee has since said his words were taken out of context and has withdrawn his support for McCain because he is "tired of these baseless attacks and fear that they have become a distraction in what should be a national debate about important issues."
Parsley set off other problems, saying Islam was "an antichrist religion that intends through violence to conquer the world." McCain rejected both of their endorsements yesterday, but drew a distinction between these controversial endorsements from religious figures and Sen. Obama's denouncement of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. McCain said:
"I have said I do not believe Sen. Obama shares Rev. Wright's extreme views. But let me also be clear, Rev. Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual adviser, and I did not attend his church for 20 years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today"
What do you think? Do the situations compare? Are Hagee and Parsley's support as problematic as Wright's?