What a day. Illness and holidays have hit our sportsdesk workforce like a nuclear apocalypse, leaving a few brave souls to preserve the future of society (or ‘the paper’ if you aren’t coming with me dramatically).
I have been wiped out to be honest, but continue to be spurred on by the success of the basketball section of our website (ww) which continues to grow it’s audience figures. What I need to do now is figure out a way to male more people watch the longest running weekly episodic video blog in Chester Chronicle history, Jetstream. It’s on the same page and all suggestions on how to increase viewership will be given serious consideration. Leave a comment to offer your input.

It took some creative thinking and a lot of work to prove the benefits but finally I have my journey into the digital journalism future underway.

Jetstream, my video blog, is still the longest running weekly episodic video blog in Chester Chronicle history, standing as it does currently at four entries.

But they have been well received and their audience is growing. This coupled with the content we fill the website with (www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/cheshire-jets) is generating many more web hits than the old Jets channel used to.

While it does not really enter the realm of the football club coverage, which has a lot more visitors, we are no longer relying on just one sporting entity to draw visitors to our site and, in my opinion, the Jets section is maybe setting the pace a little in terms of the diversity of content.

Competition of course is healthy but the main thing is that organising, filming and editing these Jetstream videos is making me ever more proficient in skills which I hope will ensure that I am able to sustain an entire career in journalism as digital markets grow and print products face new challenges.

And the fact I get to cover basketball, a great sport that I have always loved, is simply an added bonus.

As my quest to build broadcasting credentials into my journalistic skills base increases so the Jetstream video blogs (which can be seen at www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/cheshire-jets) improve in quality.

Last week I was at the Echo Arena, a place sponsored by my employers for which I had a valid media pass. So I was caught off-guard when a tall gentleman (not a basketball player) with an earpiece (security) came over and asked what I was doing filming outside.

On one hand I was glad to see they take security so seriously at the Echo Arena. On the other, I am not sure what sort of security risk (as that was the reason he cited for needing to check me out) he felt a slightly paunchy man in a floral shirt standing in front of a camcorder with a clipboard posed.

I never got to the bottom of that so please, answers on a postcard.

Nevertheless I got my interview with one of the latest Cheshire Jets imports, Quemont Greer, and I have to say that despite the fact the club wants the publicity we provide, I still feel they are being incredibly welcoming in the access they provide to players and coaches.

I believe football could learn a lot from that openness, as players become comfortable with the media and rather than needing expensive training to bat back questions they will be able to provide eloquent answers without getting themselves into trouble.

In the summer I was courtside as Luol Deng starred for Team GB and now I spend Sunday evenings courtside with the Jets against the cream of the BBL Championship. I’m sure there are worse jobs in the world…

I know, for those of you who read this during what I call the Kindergarten sessions, I haven’t been posting as regularly as I used to.

But now I’m breaking big news. I have been working on the Chester Chronicle’s new improved Cheshire Jets coverage and thanks to some technical assistance from internet wonder kid James Shepherd I can now reveal that the first two editions of the Jetstream Cheshire Jets video blog are now online to view at www.chesterchronicle.co.uk-cheshire-jets

This is already the longest running weekly episodic video blog the Chester Chronicle has ever broadcast and that is a record I believe may never be broken. Nevertheless we plough forward and new episodes will be uploaded to the website weekly along with match reports and all the great coverage that the Chronicle is now building a reputation for.

If you like basketball, if you like Cheshire Jets, and if you need to know what’s going on, you need…

THE JETSTREAM.

This is crazy. According to this report in the Telegraph http://bit.ly/cTfd6M scientists have invented spray-on clothing that can be washed and re-used.

But watch the video and a few things spring to mind. Firstly it is sprayed onto the skin. Yes it might build up a thick layer and may withstand washing but it’s hard enough removing a tight t-shirt, never mind trying to get that off, surely it would split?

Secondly, If you are not a size zero are you really going to want to parade yourself down the street in something so fitted, that shows every lump and bump that clever dressing can compensate for?

But most imagine the thought process behind it. Perhaps – and this is speculative – they thought “We’re scientists doing research at university, it is important work in the main but pretty dry. How can we get an attractive woman to take her clothes off for us? Invite her to try out our new fashion innovation of course!” (This is a purely hypothetical situation. Any similarity to any persons living or dead is coincidental)

If you have read earlier posts you’ll see I’ve had a lot on my plate recently. But as the light at the end of the tunnel was sunshine and not an oncoming train, it is time to fill you in on the lauch of my new project.

For some time I have been fighting basketball’s corner against the non-believers. We have a professional team in Cheshire who had a reputation for dominating the division back at the turn of the millennium.

But compared to the football team they did not get the attention such success warranted until now. I have worked hard to realise a vision of a full-page of Cheshire Jets coverage in the Chronicle.

With help from our number one techy, we have also revamped the Jets section of the website – www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/cheshire-jets – so it looks brilliant, if I do say so myself. In the coming weeks it will be supplemented by video blogs and match reports as the season gets underway, allowing fans to get closer to the team than they already are.

I am very proud of the new-look Jets coverage but then media people are always proud of their work, it is that unique arrogance that makes us good at what we do.

Hopefully the fans, who are the most important people in all of this, are proud of it and happy with it because if they are, it will be a big success.

Today’s a big day. Not because of the basketball I spoke of yesterday, but because my future father in law and fellow sadist (the new nickname for Tranmere Rovers beleaguered fans), is going in for a big heart operation.

Obviously everyone is very worried, surgery is a scary thing at the best of times., but it has all been brought into sharp relief by the fact he has just added a granddaughter to his flock (and it is not mine, before anyone goes panicking).

That has simply added another level of emotion and poignancy to the situation and has led to a highly charged atmosphere in the house recently.

Luckily though he is having his procedure at Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool, which in my opinion is probably the best place in the world he could be.

Great facilities and great staff who know hearts inside out (handy) will make sure he received the best treatment and care available.

It is unlike me to do this as I usually have a light hearted pay-off but please, think on if you pass a British Heart Foundation shop or see someone collecting for the charity and give a handful of the scrap metal in your pockets.

You might just be thankful you did if you one day end up in L14.