I was asked recently to submit a blog for our new JobTrac-related BidBlog. How, I asked myself, am I going to do that?
I’m a data person, I track down and report bidding news, bid dates, bid amounts, contract amounts, orderly listings and so on. Or, as my first boss so aptly described it to me 30 years ago, “reporting without adjectives.”
Thirty years ago! OK, now I feel old.
I’m so used to computers, e-mail, Google and even the lowly fax machine to gather the news that it’s easy to forget where it all started. Bear with me while I take an abbreviated walk down memory lane to a time when hi-tech in our newsroom was the telephone and the U.S. Postal Service.
Our bid reports were hand written and walked back to the union shop in the room behind us where the hot lead typesetters performed their magic, transforming our words into newsprint ink.
There was no Internet to quickly obtain bid notices and company addresses; we relied on the telephone, delivery of mail, and a wall of phone books. With no computer data base, we had to re-write addresses and phone numbers with each report.
Clearly, obtaining and distributing bidding news has improved a lot over the years. One thing hasn’t changed though: it’s still a fast-paced process with daily deadlines and the need to keep the data current and useful for those looking for construction and design work.
So as we start BidBlog, I look forward to sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into my world, and I might even use a few adjectives.
Ann Knoedler is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. She can be reached at (414) 225-1822.