Shannon Nickinson

Shannon Nickinson Project Manager


Making the diamond shine

PRESS RELEASE — The Blue Wahoos staff will refurbish the baseball field at Terry Wayne East Park, 1620 W. Jackson St. (between J and K streets). Read full story


History at a swipe

All Jay Clune wanted was a cup of coffee on the long, bleak drive from Pensacola to Tallahassee. Clune was with fellow UWF professor Patrick Moore in March of 2006 on that drive. Moore pulled out his computer to try find the closest rest area or gas station where Clune could get a java fix. And they began to wonder. Other than fast food restaurants and gas stations, what else could you put into a computer and learn about a place you might just be passing through? Being historians, they thought about the “small museums and historic sites that are sometimes two miles off the road,” Moore says. Moore and Clune thought that for $5,000 they could create the app they dreamed of. The price tag some six years later is pushing $250,000, but Moore says it is the investment in content from credentialed historians — as opposed to crowd-sourced applications — that set Next Exit History apart. Next Exit’s development dovetails nicely with the growth of the burgeoning cultural history tourism industry. It differs from site-specific apps with a similar premise, developers say, in that it is free, dynamic and not limited by geography. Moore, the public history program director at UWF, says the end goal is that “you could be in your car and drive all the way to Alaska be able to use it. The goal is to create a resource to organizations that will bring visitors to them.” There are more than 56,000 sites in the database, which is maintained by Historical Research Associates, a historical research company that does work in corporate histories, litigation, Native American tribal issues and cultural resources management compliance. “They have 40 years worth of research data,” Moore says. “We wanted scholarly vetted info that was accurate. Google Field Trips is like a shot in the dark about what you might get. “What we look for in terms of quality content is something brief (200-250 words), like an historical haiku. It has to be interesting, compelling, rapid to get through, and it must make you want to learn more.” Next Exit users also can create backpacks — sites grouped by theme or geography — that can be built, for instance, while your are connected to wifi and downloaded to your smartphone. That way when you are off the beaten path and internet connectivity is sketchy, you’ll still have access to your backpack. David Strohmaier is project manager for Next Exit History with HRA. He lives in Missoula, Mont. He says that the partnership with Moore and others at UWF has given the work that his company has done for decades new life in a digital world. “We struggled with how to make this more engaging to the public, and that’s where this has gotten us excited about the world of mobile and digital storytelling,” he says. One such project, Strohmaier notes, is under way in Great Falls, Mont., that would create a Lewis & Clark Trail backpack highlighting sites thematically or geographically tied to the famed explorers in that region. Users also can create backpack themes around what tickles their historical fancy, or about sights to see on the way to visit the grandparents. “We’re in discussions with some groups who might just want their one local historic sites to be hosted by Next Exit, and some organizations to create backpacks of sites along an historic trail that could include up to 300 sites,” Strohmaier says. A backpack that Moore wants to develop would highlight African-American heritage in Pensacola. Another would expand Next Exit’s offerings in Warrington, North Hill, East Hill and throughout the city at large. Read full story

ST Aerospace

A meeting of the minds on ST Aerospace

The City of Pensacola and Escambia County have a meeting of the minds about ST Aerospace. Read full story


Big job news for Pensacola?

Some job news would be good news right about now. Read full story


Shannon's Window: Eats at the airport

There will be something to eat at the Pensacola International Airport on April 1. Read full story

Shannon's Window

Shannon's Window: Is Tallahassee smarter than a fifth-grader?

Is anyone in Tallahassee smarter than a fifth-grader? Read full story

Interview with Chip Simmons

Connecting with the community

The numbers last year were Chip Simmons favor. Read full story

Shannon's Window

The Main Street sewer plant's downtown legacy

Who builds a sewer plant in the middle of downtown on the bay? Read full story


Updating the vision for downtown Pensacola

Want to know where Andrew Jackson slept in Pensacola? Read full story

Rebuild Northwest Florida

How we rebuilt Northwest Florida

Garrett Walton is the executive director of Rebuild Northwest Florida. He was one of a core group of community volunteers who after Hurricane Ivan roared ashore in September of 2004, founded Rebuild, first to help those who couldn’t afford storm repairs to their homes make them. Read full story


CBRE's vision from the Community Maritime PArk

Where there might have been a YMCA, there ought to be a top-tier hotel at the Community Maritime Park. Read full story