Other Stuff, Not Necessarily The News

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Other Stuff, Not Necessarily The News

By Ken MacDonald •

 Here at The News-Journal we’re working remotely, or, as I like to say, remotely working. And when I’m remotely working, my thoughts turn to our gong machine. We’ve been at Gong, version II for quite sometime, so with any spare time afforded by the worldwide pandemic, my thoughts turned to a new, improved iteration. Gong III is now in beta testing.

Basically, when someone goes online and subscribes—or renews—to the paper, the credit card payment sends a signal that triggers the machine—a one-and-a-half-inch steel ball begins its roll down a course, hits an arm that slams a hanging gong, rolls up against a gate, and waits for a circling arm to fetch it, and reload it for the next run. The steel ball also triggers a revolving red light for extra celebration.

The gong before the pandemic was not very popular with the office staff, because when you’re trying to concentrate on award-winning journalism, the sudden sounding of a gong is less than inspirational. Robin, our graphic designer, particularly hated the thing. So the staff working from home presented an extra challenge for Gong III. When it becomes fully operational this week, the trigger of the steel ball will also send Robin a text to interrupt her concentration remotely.

I know what you’re thinking. What will Gong IV look like?

Well… already thinking about that, and am keeping an eye out or a four-foot-diameter gong that won’t break the bank. So far, no indication the boss will approve the budget, especially the travel to Tibet. To see Gong III in beta testing, go to thenews-journal.com/gong

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