I should be hearing “Pomp and Circumstance.” I should be lined up on a stage, waiting for a diploma. Four years. That’s an education.
Four years ago, I teamed up with Jack Schofield to launch GraftonTimes.com. I was unemployed, with a year old blog called GreaterGrafton.com. I figured I was already covering Grafton, so I may as well get paid for it.
That little experiment led to 12 town websites.We were sold to a company called Main Street Connect, but no one had any idea what that name meant so they re-named themselves The Daily Voice.
That should have been my first warning. You see, The Daily Voice laid me off today.
Oh darn it. I’ve been out of the blogging business for so long that I’m burying the lede again.
I am once again unemployed. That isn’t the part that hurts, though. I hired a fantastic group of reporters. I tried to be the best boss to them that I could — doing everything the opposite of bosses I didn’t like — and now my awesome crew is out of work.
What is worse? To lose a job because you did it poorly or to lose it despite the fact that you did it so well?
The Massachusetts Daily Voice sites are no more. For readers in Grafton, Shrewsbury, Millbury, Northbridge, Westborough, Northborough, Southborough, Auburn and Leicester, that’s an end to the daily news they’re used to receiving. For readers in Milford and Upton, the websites they were given only two months ago are now gone.
There are seven reporters out of work. One managing editor. Three people in sales. I have no idea what’s going to happen to the Jeep.
I’ve spent the past four years hearing people say “I don’t know how you do it.” I spent most of the time simultaneously covering Grafton and managing the reporters, even after we were acquired by the bigger company that was supposed to make our jobs a little easier. I kept hearing about shortcuts that would bring in new readers, but I did it the only way I knew how — by talking to everyone, covering everything and always bringing my camera along.
Really, seriously, forget about Google shortcuts. Just go where the people are, write about them doing interesting things, tell them where to find you and they’ll follow you to read about it. Do it well and they’ll come back. It’s news, people. It’s not that hard.
Four years. It’s been an education. And like many graduates these days, I’m walking away from my diploma and moving back home.
Ah, Greater Grafton. I’ve missed you.
We’ll get reacquainted after I take a bit of a rest. I think I’ve earned it.