Saturday, February 16, 2008

Going Daily, Hiccups and Change

Working for an Internet startup is sometimes like having a case of the hiccups. They come from out of nowhere, and you never know when they'll stop. The last few weeks have been like that at my new gig. It's been more than six months since I jumped out of the traditional print media and into a company that provides online content only.

Since we launched our first Web site two months ago, my weeks took on a certain rhythm. Monday and Tuesday were a steady flow of stories coming in from writers who turned them in and wanted my undivided editing attention -- NOW. It felt like the beginning of the day in at a newspaper, when even even put your briefcase down in the moring, there was a line of people who needed something.

We had been publishing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So if I planned my days right, Wednesday I could breathe again -- sort of. That's when I woke up from my copy-induced stupor to notice people worked in the office with me. Who knew? And I would think, "It's too quiet in here," and ask if anyone brought their iPod today so we can listen to something other than my stomach growl.

Thursday I dealt with the endless mound of paperwork that had collected on my desk -- invoices, contracts and a few phone messages from people who -- ohmygawd -- want to actually talk (not over e-mail like almost everyone in Internetland) about something having to do with content on the site.

On Friday, the pace picked up again as I prepared for the new week.

But about a month ago, the rhythm changed. One Friday, my boss walked in and said we needed to stop publishing three times a week. Then he went on to explain he wanted to switch out stories every day. And without fanfare, three days later, we went daily --minus the weekends, which are likely to be next. There have been a few hiccups along the way, to be sure. But in the end, it wasn't much different than adding a section to a daily newspaper or a day of publication to a weekly.

A lesson learned: whether in print or online, there's one constant -- change, change, change.

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