I want to thank the people who left comments, especially Nick and Zach.
The plan all along was to have this be an entry point for the newsroom, but it hasn’t gotten my attention like it should have.
I’m going to be substantially less involved in the “putting out a newspaper” side going forward and much more involved with turning our reporters into bloggers. So with that in mind, I’m going to be starting to write about just that — the challenges reporters face and the good ideas that make it easier.
Until then, I’m going to leave this blog up, if for no other reason than it has the post that has everyone’s Twitter username.

If, in the meantime, you want some Gazette inside baseball, I really recommend checking out the blogs done by Steve Buttry and Lyle Muller.

We’re working hard to embrace new technology in the newsroom, whether that’s ways to report stories, new ways to present our work to the public or ways to keep reporters in touch with editors.

And one tool we use for all of the above is twitter. (Post updated 2/2/2009 We now have more than 50 newsroom employees using twitter.)


We’ll have a look at the plans for a new, rebuilt Theatre Cedar Rapids.
We’ll also have stories about President Barack Obama’s proposed budget and more about the local option sales tax and why Cedar Rapids doesn’t already have one.

We’ll have a story about how the state has not increased the tax on alcohol and the rationale for that.
We’ll also have a story about eager golfers who were out on the links at St. Andrew’s in Cedar Rapids today.
And we’ll have the latest on arrests of executives in New York accused of mishandling pension fund money, including some from the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System.

We had a story online yesterday and in The Gazette today about a company-wide re-organization.
I won’t go into many details here, as the particulars have been covered by Steve Buttry and Lyle Muller, but I have updated the list of newsroom people using Twitter to reflect the new, lower staffing levels.
The future of this blog is uncertain. My position as social media guide will have less to do with putting out the daily paper and online edition than it has so far and more to do with training reporters and connecting with the community in other ways.
So my question to you all is: Is this blog useful at all? I realize that other than the daily story lineups, the posting on here has been spotty. Do you want to see something like this blog continue, no matter who’s writing it?
As always, you can leave comments or shoot me an e-mail.

We’ll have a story about Obama’s speech before a joint session of Congress tonight, along with reaction from Iowa’s Congressional delegation.
We’ll also have a story about the challenges facing the Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau, which moves back to downtown this week.

We’ll have a look at a decidedly non-standard job fair set for later this week. Its goal is to get ex-convicts and other people who might not have good employment prospects into the job market.
We’ll also take a look at what some people say could happen if the proposed local option sales tax fails to pass.
And we’ll have more on a controversy involving the Iowa Public Employee Retirement System. The fund is demanding more than $300 million from a California fund.

We’ll have a story looking at whether discretionary spending on children — things like dance classes, among others — are being affected by the economic downturn.

We’ll have a look at how the proposed local option sales tax could affect the smaller towns in Linn County. Those towns get all the sales tax money from any online purchase by Linn County residents, so they could see their revenues fall if the tax passes in Cedar Rapids.

We’ll also have a look at how the towns in Linn County would use the sales tax money.

We’ll have a look at how buyouts of flooded properties are likely to proceed and the controversy that’s causing.

We’ll have a story about a proposal for co-locating city, county and state services in Cedar Rapids.
We’ll also take a look at new predictions that put the chances of flooding this spring at or slightly below average.
And we’ll have the latest on very bad economic news from the Federal Reserve, which predicted even greater unemployment this year.