InDecision 2008

I may get my wife back now that the election is over.  She has been beside herself over the last few months as she worried whether her presidential candidate would persevere in this race.  From the other room where she is/has been  flipping through the channels, it sounds like she is watching a college football game on a Saturday afternoon.  There’s just not as much swearing at the coaches and the officials calling the game.  I will have to tell you that early on in the coverage I heard her say something to the effect of “Oh my God!!!!!”.  She then called me into the other room to see what had gotten her attention.  It was on CNN and appeared to be some incarnation of the first Star Wars movie with the holograph of Princess Leia projected from R2D2.  There on the screen talking to Wolf Blitzer was Jessica Yellin in some sort of hi-def Hologram from Chicago.  She appeared to have some sort of blue tint around her outline like the old chroma-key clips.  Anyway, it had some gee-whiz factor to it but I’m not sure what it added.  Of course I believe it was CNN that started the first “ticker” at the bottom of the screen during a broadcast and it wasn’t long before EVERYBODY  had a ticker.  So I won’t be surprised to see the “hologram” appear elsewhere after tonight. I say “elsewhere” but it really won’t be everywhere because as Jessica Yellin said it took more than 30 high-def cameras placed around her to make the image possible and I doubt if there are 30 HD cameras in any one news room in most medium to small markets.

Locally, I thought I’d check in to see how the local coverage on the Internet was working out.  I will also say that I probably tuned in WWAAAAYYY to early  for returns as it was between 7:45 and 8 pm. When I went to WREG.com, I saw a small screen of Richard and Claudia pop up and just below that was this message:  Firefox can’t find the server at ftpcontent.worldnow.com\wreg\election\electionresultsnovember.html. After a couple of tries to get local results I gave up and moved on.

I went to WMC’s website just in time to hear Joe Birch introducing his “dear friend and colleague”.  Since I was listening and not watching, I wasn’t sure who he was gushing about.  It turns out he was introducing Donna Davis who was about to talk to the panel of experts in the studio. I heard a lot of analysis but didn’t see any numbers I was interested in concerning the local races.

Next I visited WHBQ Fox 13’s website.  I didn’t get anybody popping up on a video screen first thing when I went to the website but I did find what was one of the easiest websites to negotiate with a big tab available for each of the big races and tabs for local races.  It was nice and clean.  Unfortunately they didn’t have any more information posted at the time I was searching.  I know, I know, patience is a virtue and I need a virtue.

Next I visited WPTY’s website.  I had to look around but finally found the “local results” page.  It had a funky look to it with some odd looking symbols everywhere.    I didn’t find what I was looking for there either so I moved on.

Finally, I decided I would check out the action on the Commercial Appeal website.  I was actually surprised because I figured I would find more information there than at the other websites.  I didn’t.  It was even more confusing and difficult to negotiate.  I could find a map that would tell me where to vote but not what the results were. I moved on.

Bottom line:  I let my wife watch the returns while I kept busy elsewhere around the house.  When I heard loud groaning  or cheering coming from her general vicinity then I knew it was time to see what was going on.  Now THAT is what I consider to be a personal election night alert.

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7 Comments on “InDecision 2008”

  1. Ready camera 1, take 2 Says:

    Seems as though each network was just ga-ga over their new toys…holograms, super-chomakeys, touch screens on steroids, telestrators that would make John Madden cry. It was like the NAB was taken over by nerds from MIT. I thought they ended up looking like a bunch of rubes. Russert with the whiteboard was just as effective. The effects where impressive but got in the way of the message and became the message instead. For a brief moment there was a corner of my TV screen that didn’t have a graphic message on it…an ever so brief moment.

  2. joelarkins Says:

    You make a good point. My TV screen was so cluttered, I sometimes found myself looking everywhere for information and finding none. And I guess there was some kind of payback from my wife who controlled the remote during the election coverage. About the time I was ready to read something, she had punched the remote to the next channel….you know a lot like I do when I’m holding the remote.
    And as I mentioned before, some of the graphics listed on the sides of the screen by NBC news were clipped because the picture runs off my SD TV. It makes it difficult to watch when they put information there and you can’t decipher it. Do I complain to satellite TV people or WMC people?
    Regards

  3. George Says:

    complain to WMC-TV, it’s their choice to air it that way.

    Joe, please don’t use Firefox. That browser can’t get along with a lot of software.
    Stick with Explorer

  4. joelarkins Says:

    George, I appreciate the info about WMC. I shall send them a note.
    As to the use of Firefox, I get too much crap on my computer with Explorer. I didn’t realize that someone needed Explorer to surf WREGs website. Using Explorer means that much more stuff that Adaware and Spybot have to clean up, at least IMHO. If that’s the issue with checking out websites, I’ll switch over as necessary but otherwise I’ve become a big fan of Firefox.
    Regards

  5. NCL Mag Says:

    Gotta disagree on the Explorer vs Firefox. IE is far less compatible with many website out there. We switched exclusively to FF here over 2 years ago and all of our problems disappeared.
    -T-

  6. AMNewsBoy Says:

    Except for some things, I use Firefox exclusively. It may not get along with a lot of software — but at the same time — it’s not so easily mangled either.

    As for bizarre codes on WPTY’s page, it looks like they didn’t format the HTML correctly.

  7. Lew Says:

    I use Firefox, and had no problems. Sometimes you have to have the “add-ons,” but it seems to work fine. I got disenchanted with the TV coverage of the elections and finally found one newspaper site, in my state, which had excellent election results, constantly updated. It was the Courier Journal in Louisville. They had separate tabs for local, state and national and it worked really well. The TV gimmicks (holograms, etc) grew old really fast and added nothing to the broadcasts. If it’s gonna be eye-candy, it might as well be sweet. That wasn’t.


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