I get asked this question more often than you would think, and the answer is that my job description is constantly evolving. My title is associate local editor, and every day and every week is different than the last.
For example: Last week, I covered the Solon Patch while the editor was on vacation for seven days. I was a little nervous, since the first time I had been to Solon was the first time that I met the editor. But everything turned out just fine. He let me know the things that needed covered and I ended up writing really great stories on the school district, city council’s rental occupancy ordinance and some good police briefs. There were also other smaller stories in there too. I tweeted and facebooked for the page as well. It went pretty smoothly and I only came across a couple minor glitches.
Overall, I really liked having reign over the site because it made me feel like I was doing a really great service to the people of Solon. I was keeping them up-to-date on two hot-button issues in the community — schools and council– and I got pretty good interaction in the comment section too.
When I’m not covering a Patch, I’m writing articles for all of the Patches as needed. I’ve written articles about road construction in Cleveland Heights, a dance troop in Beachwood and I’ve helped other editors find sources for their stories.
I’m keeping busy, but I’m not running myself into the ground like some critics of Patch say happens. It’s a pretty happy environment and everyone is very helpful, nurturing and smart. We’re all working to achieve the common goal of getting local news disseminated in a way that is fun and easy for people to digest. Plus, we get pretty great swag, and who doesn’t love swag?
I’m constantly looking for new and fun ways to promote the Patches I work for, and I’ll even be attending a seminar on the subject at Kent State University on Friday. Tomorrow I’ll be participating in a Give 5 Day, which is where we give back to the communities we work in by volunteering. It’s really great.
Exciting things are happening at Patch, and on Friday, I’ll learn more about the collaboration between Patch and the Huffington Post, which AOL acquired a couple months ago.
Oh! And to all my iPhone friends out there, the Patch app will launch tomorrow! Please download it and let me know what you guys think! Just another way you can stay connected with what’s going on in your city.