ONA16 picks: Program Team Co-Chair Patty Michalski shares her recommendations

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I’m thrilled to have been a part of planning this year’s conference as programming co-chair. My first thought when I was going over the schedule was: “I can’t wait to go to all of these sessions!” My next thought was, “Humm, how do I decide what to go to?”

Having seen this year’s conference come together from start to finish, I’m awed by the ideas and thought that went into the planning process. It’s a fantastic schedule. Below are the sessions I’m most looking forward to. Track me down in Denver and let me know what you think. See you there.

It’s Not Mobile First. Think Content First. Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

This nails it. It all comes back to content. What is your story? How are you telling it? This session will specifically look at how a content-first approach has worked effectively and the presenters even promise to prototype some content-first strategies. You’ll walk away from this with takeaways you can apply in your newsroom.

Welcome to Snapocalypse: Navigating, Surviving … and Thriving? … With Distributed Content, Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

This is a big topic in the industry and only poised to grow. There are lots of implications for organizations to think through in this space and this session will hit on all of them – content, revenue and what success looks like.

Storytelling from the Smartphone Lock Screen, Thursday, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

My lock screen is my new homepage. Every morning, I grab my phone, scroll through the alerts and catch up on a variety of the things I missed. This session examines that exact space. Strategies to consider, favorite examples and tips on how to best use the space — you’ll learn it all.

The Break-It-and-Make-It Workshop! Friday, 2–4:30 p.m.

Cracking something open, seeing the inside of it, demystifying the process or the technology – I love everything about this session. To know what the inside of a phone looks like, to sift through its parts – that’s just cool.

10 Tech Trends in Journalism, Saturday, 10–11 a.m.

Amy Webb’s sessions are always full and never disappoint. What technology can and will do for our industry is amazing. I walk away from this presentation each year thinking about the trends for months afterward. You will, too.

Patty MichalskiPatty Michalski is Managing Editor, Digital, Mobile, Social at USATODAY. She served as Co-Chair of the ONA16 Program Team.