04.16.2014Personal Tech

How Verizon Keeps insideSTL.com Online & On Air

This is a guest post from Justin Boyd, vice president of Web operations and editor of insideSTL.com, a St. Louis website devoted to local sports and entertainment news and commentary. insideSTL also oversees operations for CBS Sports Radio 920 AM in St. Louis – a local sports talk station.

A Wearer of Many Hats

As the overseer of Web content for an online entertainment and sports opinion hub and utility man for a radio station, I have to wear many hats. Whether it’s helping set up and oversee the execution of a remote radio broadcast, getting a completed story posted to the website during off-hours or trouble shooting a page of the website from home, it’s critical that I have a myriad of devices that all work consistently and without fail.

There have been many instances in the past where either our staff or I have run into problems with Internet accessibility or faulty equipment and, in those situations, you feel helpless. We live in a world where little or even no Internet access turns us into cave dwellers hunting for dinner. We’ve found ways to improve our business operations and daily necessary tasks thanks to Verizon Wireless’ products and reliable 4G LTE network.

Taking the Show on the Road

On the radio side of the business, our hosts and personalities often take their shows on the road to broadcast live from a company sponsor or highly-prominent event happening in town. And once you’re on site for a remote radio broadcast, all bets are off. You never know what you’re walking into and how accessible Internet connections will be for the hosts or for the producer needing to send a feed back to the studio.

The days of walking into stress and uncertainty during these remote broadcasts are over thanks to the Verizon Jetpack. The mobile hotspot functionality offers peace of mind for our staff because we now know wherever we go, we’re bringing top speed connectivity along.

This was particularly clutch when our morning radio show – The Morning After – spent a week broadcasting live from the St. Louis Cardinals’ Spring Training facility in Jupiter, FL. Without that connectivity assurance, we would’ve been scrambling for a solution that may not have existed.

From Internet access for our on-air hosts to providing enough streaming bandwidth to power our live video streams, the Verizon Jetpack seems to offer just the solution we have been looking for.

Online Upkeep

The main necessity when managing an online property is the assurance that you stay online and can add new content at a moment’s notice. Thanks to the reliability of the Verizon network, I often utilize my iPhone to review and upload a new story or column from anywhere or check our podcast files in case there is an error and catch it before a user ever has an issue. I love not being hamstrung to my desk all day – I’d much rather be shooting the breeze with clients or working “remotely.” And there’s no guarantee that every new piece of information we want to get on the site will come to me between the standard office hours.

I’ve also enjoyed trying out the Verizon Ellipsis 7 as of late. This thing is sleek yet mighty. It allows for a larger display than my outdated personal device and is great when working with site content and business deals on the go, or if I’m without my laptop and need more power than my iPhone can provide.

On a personal note, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using the Ellipsis to watch my favorite TV shows and listen to music. The display is crisp and the sound is quality!

Thanks again, Verizon, for helping to keep insideSTL.com on air and online!

Disclosure: We loaned Justin a Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet to test out. The Jetpack and iPhone are his personal Verizon devices.

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