Content Ninja's Weblog

An exploratory journey on the edge of newspaper evolution

In the beginning … March 11, 2008

So there’s this guy one cube over. Thomas. “You should blog about what you’re doing,” he says. He’s right. How can I experiment in this space if I’m not living here? So here I am.

People keeping asking, “What are you doing?” I’m experimenting on behalf of my employer, Gazette Communications, looking for ways to build an engaged community around local content. My job, says CEO Chuck Peters, is to “create local intelligence” around a topical area. My Holy Grail, he says, is finding the structure to give it form.

Sounds lofty, eh? It is when you consider that, if even some small thing we do here becomes a piece of the puzzle that ultimately “saves” newspapers, we could impact journalism as a whole. How cool. How terrifying. What have I done?!

What I’ve done is given up my job of seven years as features editor of The Gazette newspaper to take a risk. One of my favorite quotes is by W.S. Holt: “History is a damn dim candle over a damn dark abyss.” History can’t help newspapers  find an innovative way to face the future. We have to find our own way.  So I’ve leapt into the abyss.