As I sit down to write this blog, it’s hard for me to believe I’ve been in the journalism business for nearly 25 years. The word “blog” didn’t even exist when I got my start covering school board meetings and barn raisings for the Shipshewana Times-Sentinel just a few weeks after graduating from Goshen High School.
If I told somebody I needed to blog back then, I’m pretty sure they’d leave the room suspecting something very unpleasant was about to happen. The same would likely be true if I said I had to tweet. Hashtag? That would have gotten you arrested in LaGrange County. And in those days “social” media often involved a notebook, a lunch counter and a conversation.
We’ve come a long way in the past quarter century. Technology continues to evolve, forever altering the approach of distributing journalism and consuming information. Keeping up is often a daunting task as we wade through the surging current of the digital revolution. Think about it, when’s the last time you used a typewriter?
Honestly, I think the most valuable class I took at Goshen High School was zero hour keyboarding my freshman year. That was the last time I used a typewriter, but it translated well into the computer age. I remember the original Macintosh computers in the GHS “Tomahawk”/”Crimson” office. My current GALAXY Note 3 cell phone that I carry with me everywhere has a bigger screen than those Macs.
I watched as proportion wheels and X-acto knives gave way to the computer mouse and Adobe PageMaker, which in turn gave way to QuarkXPress, which gave way to InDesign. Back in the day I couldn’t throw a pica pole in the newsroom without hitting an AP Stylebook. Now we just use our handy-dandy Internet machine on our WiFi accessible iPads to find out that the Associated Press dictates that “Internet” is always capitalized in print.