About me


My career in journalism has mirrored the dramatic changes in the industry as a result of the digital revolution.

I started out as a copy editor and page designer, getting great experience at the basics of word editing.

As the Internet began to take a place in people’s daily lives, I shifted to creating content for the Web. In the early days it was hand coding of raw HTML. Then before long came digital content management systems

The next evolutionary steps had me designing ways to capitalize on the two-way nature of the Web to make the news interactive: interactive charts, polls, reader comments, etc. I experimented with blog content to drive traffic via a focus on writing for SEO.

When social media began to be a “thing” and demonstrate its power to drive traffic to news sites, I was among the first to experiment with it. Later I led efforts to expand the use of social media throughout the newsroom, strategizing how we could use these platforms to our advantage.

Now my focus is on how digital journalism allows for greater reader engagement than ever. How are we keeping readers coming back to our websites, and helping us to create netter journalism? It’s an exciting field.

I am also intrigued by the way that reader engagement is being taught — if it is being taught — in journalism schools. I have even drafted a syllabus for how I would structure such a class. Let me know and I’ll let you have a look.

Meantime, outside of work, I enjoy reading, watching foreign films and traveling. I’ve been to somewhere around 30 countries on six continents. And some day I hope to get to Antarctica too.

~ Bob Payne


4 Responses to “About me”

  1. Anne Cushing February 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM #

    Thanks Bob for the fun insights – we are headed to South Africa in September and I am enjoying reading about your travels. Any insights about renting a car or using public transport or tour to see some of the farther afield sights around Capetown appreciated

    • Bob Payne March 2, 2011 at 7:09 AM #

      Hi Anne – I decided against renting a car for several reasons, and I think I’m doing fine with bus companies and taxis – And it’s cheaper too. I miss a few things, but I can live with that. with car rental you have issues of insurance, the high accident rate here, parking, increasing gas prices, etc. I hope you have a great trip!

  2. Dorothy Wodrich March 3, 2011 at 11:06 PM #

    Hi Bob,
    My son lives in Seattle and had just sent me a link to your blog. If you are heading towards the Cape again you are most welcome to visit – I have a comfortable guest room to offer you. I live in a beautiful valley, only an hour’s drive from Cape Town. We are famous for for our wines and olives and friendly people who love meeting visitors and showing them a good time:-)

    • Bob Payne March 3, 2011 at 11:26 PM #

      Wow, thanks very much! I really do hope to get back here some day, as I’m sure there are plenty of other things to do!

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