IPCPR 2015: What’s a Habano Wrapper?

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(Editor’s note: This year we hired two offsite editors to help us produce better live coverage of the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. One of them was Rosalie Catanoso, who handled text, video editing and putting the posts together. I asked her to write a short blog about what it was like working for halfwheel during its busiest four days, despite never smoking a cigar. We think. — CM.)

Hey halfwheel readers!

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My name is Rosalie, and I am not a cigar smoker like I assume most of you are. I was hired as an off-site editor for this year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show coverage.

The funny thing is that I have never actually met the halfwheel gang, but I first heard about Charlie and his “cigar blog” years ago when he was a student in my dad’s journalism class at Wake Forest University. My dad was always impressed by the success of halfwheel, and they remained friends after Charlie graduated. So when Charlie reached out to my dad a few months ago asking if he knew anyone that would be interested in doing some editing for halfwheel’s coverage of IPCPR 2015, he put us in touch because I have experience in web editing—but no experience in cigars.

When I first spoke with Charlie about the project months ago, it didn’t seem too daunting; they would be going booth to booth at the trade show capturing images and video and would upload content about each booth onto WordPress, the backend system that manages all the content. On my end, I would upload all the videos from Dropbox to Vimeo, embed those videos, add pictures that had already been edited by another off-site photo editor, proofread and edit the content of the booth reviews on WordPress, then schedule the posts to go live on halfwheel.

When July 17 finally rolled around, I started to get a little nervous.

I had only just taught myself how to edit videos on iMovie a few days prior, and I was a little rusty with WordPress. I had a pretty good grasp of what my responsibilities were going to be, but I had no idea how it was all going to go down. The day before Charlie, Brooks, Brian and Patrick started live coverage, we had a conference call between all of us—including Kim, the photo editor. We did a test run of the whole process of a post from start to finish, working out some kinks along the way, so that made me feel a little more comfortable about what the following days would bring.

But I have to say – that first day of coverage was intense!

halfwheel’s communal Dropbox started overflowing with videos and photos to be edited, and draft after draft of booth coverage were being uploaded to WordPress. Having no real prior knowledge of cigars, it took me a while to become familiar with the terms and their correct spelling. Thankfully, these guys are already great writers and cigar experts, so that made the editing part a little easier—but the amount of content coming in at once was pretty nerve-wracking. It took me a few hours to gather my bearings, but judging by my very messy notes, we posted at least 15 booth reviews that first day. And I will admit that when I could finally close my computer on Saturday and call it a night, I really needed a drink, or a few.

After Saturday, I got into the groove of fetching videos from Dropbox, editing them in iMovie and uploading them to Vimeo, then proofreading the corresponding booth reviews and inserting the photos and videos where the author indicated. There were a few bumps along the way of course—forgetting a featured image, uploading a video as the wrong size, missing typos here and there—but the next few days flowed as smoothly as they could have.

According to Charlie, we published a total of 51 posts during the four days of the show, which is pretty impressive. I’m really proud of what we were able to accomplish as a team working from three different parts of the country. (I’m located in Philadelphia, Kim was in Milwaukee, and the guys were in New Orleans of course.) It was a crazy, fast-paced four days, but it was a lot of fun and I hope I have the opportunity to work with halfwheel again, hopefully sooner rather than later. I still couldn’t tell you what a habano wrapper is, but I learned so much about an amazing community of people that I barely knew existed before being introduced to halfwheel.

A million thanks to halfwheel for bringing me aboard, and thank you all for reading my story! Until next time.

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Rosalie Catanoso
About the author

I worked as the off-site editor during IPCPR 2015. I am a North Carolina native living in Philadelphia. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, and have written features for FourSeasonsMagazine.com, VerizonWireless.com, and U.S. Airways Magazine. I want to be a full-time freelance editor in the near future. When not writing, I spend my free time exploring the City of Brotherly Love's museums, parks, restaurants and beer gardens. I've smoked exactly one cigar in my life and still have no idea what a habano wrapper is.

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