I've been a community journalist for more than 11 years, but that was print--and this is definitely not.
I'm a "Patcher" now and I'm learning, day by day, how to make our Grayslake Patch grow. But I can't do it alone. This literally takes a village.
As a new hire, I traveled to Patch headquarters in New York City last week for a crash course in what it means to be a local editor of a Patch Web site.
The biggest lesson I took away from our training was that although I have a solid print journalism foundation, Patch is a new concept for reporters like myself.
As a new media company, Patch is changing the face of community journalism by writing for their readers, not just about them. Patch is not a newspaper in the traditional sense, and our old ways have to become new ways.
When I began freelancing for Patch, some of the sources I interviewed had never heard of us. To me, the easiest way to explain Patch was to say we were an on-line community newspaper, but that really wasn't accurate.
While Patch editors and reporters like myself will always strive to provide readers with comprehensive local news and engaging features, it is equally important that we provide an open and inviting forum for community participation.
Therefore, Patch is not an on-line newspaper, but an interactive community news site that provides a platform for content, commerce and conversations.
Blog Your Butt Off
Whether you're a mom, a school principal, a community activist or the local grocery store manager, we want you to blog about what's interesting and meaningful to you be it your club activities, hobbies, football team or latest volunteer fundraiser.
Don't let the term "blogger" dissuade you from becoming one. There's no obligation here. Post daily, weekly, monthly, one time only--whatever works for you. Think of blogging as posting to your community bulletin board. Our blog section is your local voice.
Know that if you have something to share, you don't have to wait for the editor to put it out there. You have an open invitation, so "RSVP" here.
It's so easy to post articles on Patch.
You can also upload and post your own Pics and Clips.
Take ownership of your Patch site through participation and let your voice be heard. Click here to "Join" and register your free Patch account.
Throughout the week I will post "how-to" reminders, but if you have any questions or need assistance, I am here as editor and moderator.