Planting the Seed for the Next Generation of Editorial
More than 10 years ago, I was offered an opportunity to get out of my editor's chair and start a career in the wonderful world of the Internet. When I look back, this remains one of the best decisions of my life, avoiding what easily could have become a complacent career in journalism.
A new project I'm about to start is designed to energize editors I come in contact with every day who still, for the most part, write and edit copy for print and regularly reject offers to enhance their skill-set through SEO training, learning how to publish podcasts, working on custom publishing projects or actively participating in social media. I should clarify what I just said by pointing out that there are an equal number of editors who have embraced new media and cram every bit of these and other initiatives into very busy days.
Five interns (three of whom are unemployed college grads) will spend parts of the next 20 weeks carrying out some of the much-needed work that seems to always get pushed aside. I hope that when editorial staffs see the energy, the success and, in some cases, the ease that all of this takes place, more of them will consider putting away style guides and their magazine layouts and finally realize online publishing is here to stay.
For those who still don't see the value of re-inventing themselves, hopefully they're reading stories like the one about the head of AOL and former Google-guy Tim Armstrong deciding to cut 2,500 employees while announcing plans to automate its online news reporting process with the help of a mysterious algorithm and the more conspicuous Seed.com, designed to allow AOL to automatically assign stories, pay contributors, correct grammar and even check for copyright infringement.
I understand that there's a difference between general news and magazine feature writing, but when you get a chance take a look inside your own magazine and consider how much content still is being published that just doesn't belong in print anymore. Briefs about "People on the Move," one-paragraph long news "stories" re-written from press releases, advertiser indices, new product announcements, the list goes on.
In my last post, I challenged you to consider removing magazine content from your Web site. Now it's time to start considering removing your Web content from your magazine.