When you're the editor at an Internet startup, days go by that follow a routine. It's all about the internal stuff. Playing with headlines to get better search engine optimization. Restructuring stories to make them easier to read online. Examining the look of the latest emoticons, avatars or landing page redesign. All worthwhile stuff, to be sure. But given my traditional news background, occasionally I miss the excitement of a good, old-fashioned breaking story.
And then one day, when you're out of the office at a daylong conference about startups, the fun happens without you. Your Blackberry gets tied up with e-mails about your content getting picked up by another news organization -- or two.
You find out a blogger from the Seattle Post Intelligencer has picked up a story about how baseball can help your relationship. Or Yahoo's women's site, Shine, quotes the same story. Or that msn.com has highlighted your news story about how the mortgage crisis may be adding to the divorce rate. And then U.S. News and World Report picks up the story the same day.
These are the days when you know, despite the daily routine, you're doing something right with the content. And you remember what a kick working on a good news story can really be.