Making another move

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This time it’s a cyber change: relocating my personal web presence from the site I built using iLife to the much easier, much cleaner spot. I will leave the old site up for a while.

Since I last blogged I have finished hiring my team. Twelve journalists to work as local editors (LEs) for the twelve Patch sites north of Highway 40/Interstate 64 in St. Louis. Here are the communities in my cluster:

It’s been quite a journey and it only began in late July. I feel like my skill set has already expanded hugely.  I’ve learned how to:

  • screen and hire talented people on a tight schedule
  • navigate and make the most of a new content management system (Patch)
  • organize my virtual work life (still learning!)
  • maximize Google Docs, the Google Calendar and other online tools to create keep my team organized

In the most improved area, I feel I’m already a much better:

  • leader and motivator
  • team builder
  • professional
  • copy editor (hello online AP Stylebook!)

In addition to the twelve LEs (who have hired dozens of local freelancers), I’ve hired a full time Associate Local Editor to do work for the sites on nights, weekends, and holidays as well as work on special projects. And there’s more! Our team has a contract sports editor to coordinate coverage around the area and two contract calendar editors to keep our events section current.

There’s a lot of work ahead for the rest of November and the month of December.  With Patch pushing to reach the 500 live site mark by the end of the year (we’re at more than 400 as I type this), most of my sites will launch between Dec. 6 and Dec. 21. This means lots of quality control, copy editing, trouble shooting, guidance/coaching and editorial decision-making. Keep in mind, most of this is done remotely! I meet with my team weekly, but most of the time we are at our home offices, local coffee shops, or out and about covering the news.

So, it’s challenging. And yet, what a great feeling to see each new site go live! My next one is Hazelwood, which launches first thing Monday morning.  Also — not gonna front — it feels pretty good to be part of something that’s making waves in journalism, changing the media landscape, providing gainful employment for hundreds of journalists.


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