"Death of the Daily Download?"



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well... yes and no. Read on.

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Three years ago, I began covering BYU football camp with something I called the "Cougar Daiy Download." This was a produced and recorded feature of anywhere from 10-20 minutes in length that I uploaded usually by mid-to-late afternoon, Monday through Saturday during camp in August.

I would like to think this feature was well-received by those BYU fans who either downloaded it to their laptops, played the feature for "live" listening, or subscribed to the podcast.

As time passed, I realized my only frustration was with the clock--the time it took to get home from practice, download all of my interviews from post-practice, write the feature, record my voice tracks, then go through the technical process of editing my voice tracks together with the recorded tracks and assembling the finished product. Then there was the time it took to upload a 20-minute piece of audio. Also, at times my information would be outdated by virtue of developments later in the day. More recently, the importance of immediacy has lessened the efficacy of the recorded product.

Which brings us to last year, and the debut of my blog, "Cougar Tracks." Once again, I would like to think that "Cougar Tracks" has been well-received by BYU fans--certainly our online tracking numbers would indicate it is rather popular, and for that, I am grateful. I debuted "Cougar Tracks" at the start of camp in August of 2007, and I continued to blog at the same time I was producing the "Cougar Daily Download." It wasn't long before I found much of what I would want to include in the "Cougar Daily Download," I had already included in "Cougar Tracks," and much of what I would have included in "Cougar Tracks," I was saving for the "Cougar Daily Download." It seemed as if I was either doing the same job twice, or not doing each job as fully as it could have been done.

The advantage of the "Cougar Daily Download" was ability to incorporate interview audio into my written analysis, and I'm aware many of you look forward to getting your BYU Football camp info in that format. However, I think the time has come to combine the need for immediacy with the technological ability to incorporate audio into a format that will from this point replace the "Cougar Daily Download."

Starting Saturday, August 2nd, "Cougar Tracks" will continue to give you my daily camp reports as soon as I step off the practice field, and you will still hear the interviews I have always done--the only difference is, "Cougar Tracks" will now be your "one-stop shop."

"Cougar Tracks" will include even more camp information than it did last year, since I will be not be having to "hold anything back," or save additional info for the "Cougar Daily Download," as I often did due to time constraints last season. For example, once my interviews were completed, I would file a quick couple of notes in "Cougar Tracks," tease what was coming up on the "Download," then hustle home to start recording and producing.

Now, I will empty my notebook in "Cougar Tracks" every day after camp, AND will include my longform interview audio on the blog page itself. My plan is to "embed" the interview audio link within the body of the blog entry, and also have the interviews available in a "click to listen" box to the right side of the blog page, if you prefer that format. Either way, you can quickly scan the blog for all of my written info before you listen to interviews, listen first and read later, or read while you listen/listen while you read. I think the loss of a "downloadable/"podcastable" format option will be compensated by the immediacy and flexibility afforded by this new plan. More than anything, I hope you will come away even more informed and (hopefully) entertained than you were before.

I welcome your feedback, and I certainly welcome the opportunity to cover camp and give you my daily perspective. I consider my job to be as much an "enjoyable privilege" as it is an occupation, yet I take seriously the responsibility to be as professional as I am passionate about BYU Football. I look forward to the season to come, and bringing to you--online, and over-the-air.

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