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I spent about 45 minutes of my morning commute on Wednesday with business writers Brianna Bailey and Steve Lackmeyer and about 100 other interested members of our community.

It was 8 a.m., and I sat at the bus stop with my third-grader – the same way I spend every school morning. As we waited, I pulled up NewsOK.com on my mobile device. I saw that we were about to start live streaming a panel discussion on the issue of developing and maintaining a skilled work force in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoman had been digging into the topic since the Sunday newspaper. Brianna was the lead reporter on the series. Steve filled in gaps with additional analysis, columns and sidebars.

It was a three-day series that subscribers to The Oklahoman had early access to. The entire series – and the video from the panel discussion – is now available on NewsOK.com for all newshounds to enjoy.

And at 8 a.m., I saw on our live video that the crowd was gathering and the breakfast was being served. The discussion was about to begin.

I turned the video on as I waved good-bye to the bus driver and started the car. I listened to the discussion through the audio in my car. When I stopped at a convenience store to get breakfast, I pulled out my headphones and continued listening. When I arrived at the office parking garage, the phone was in my pocket, but I was still listening to community leaders debate the root causes and potential solutions to the looming workforce problems facing our state.

As I plugged in my computer at the office at 8:45 a.m. and prepared to switch my live stream to my office computer, I was struck for a moment at how easy The Oklahoman has made it to stay informed, updated and connected.

The Oklahoman reporters covered this topic extensively. The newspaper pages brought the issue to life.  NewsOK packaged it together for long-term storage and continuing coverage. The Oklahoman and NewsOK amplified the discussion through its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Then The Oklahoman’s newsroom put together a community panel with real solutions-oriented dialogue. And we streamed that discussion to every interested mobile device in the world.

And I can participate even while I stand in line at the store with my granola bar. 

That’s pretty cool.

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Alan Herzberger

Alan Herzberger is the Vice President of Audience Development at The Oklahoman Media Company. He focuses on digital strategies for The Oklahoman and for NewsOK.com. He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports department.... Read more ›

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