April 18, 2008

Second chances are always nice

We don't get many chances for do-overs in life. Or opportunities to step outside the life we know as usual.

That's why I'm not passing up this opportunity to win free registration to a Biz School for Bloggers that I think could be very interesting.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson has found that life has piled up too many obligations for her to use her already paid for registration so she decided to give it up. Since it was the too many obligations that made me pass up the last chance to win free registration I'm hoping for luck. :-)

The weekend in Chicago would be an excellent start to my life after buyout from The Flint Journal. It should help me focus more on what's next.

The weekend has been called an "Internet MBA in 48 hours" or "Biz School for Bloggers."

I see it as a beginning of an intensive period of thinking, a way to help me pull back from the routine of producing. I also see it as a way to push me out of the comfortable world of newspapers and mass media and back into the worlds of community and writing.

I know that opportunities are knocking and lots of folks have ideas of how I should "pay back" what I've learned or move on to the next challenge at a newspaper, a web site, a classroom or non-profit organization.

I'm listening to those who suggest I kickback and do nothing.

I know I have the luxury of not having to do anything at all.

But can a recovering workaholic really go from 100 mph to 0 mph overnight? Isn't everything we've done until now supposed to lead to something else?

Winning would be a God Wink, helping to show me ways to move out of the safe world.

I want to hear how folks put together their business plans, and actually meet some of the folks I have been following through Twitter and blogs, learn about social media from folks actually doing it. I want to know what new media outside newspapers and journalism means. And as someone who hasn't had her own business in more than 30 years I want to see how individuals make successful businesses.

I want the roadmap so I know how to survive the detours and blaze my own path. I don't want to start from scratch.

In return, Lisa wants a lifetime of adoration. What's not to like about someone who collects quotes, writes Books for Dummies, and switched careers from nursing to the web, and found happiness in her second marriage.

(which reminds me add editing the Dummies book to the resume that refuses to get done)

April 14, 2008

Heartbreaking photos of a laid-off newsroom

Like I needed another reminder of what an emptying newsroom looks like?

I'm sure I would not have stumbled across the work of San Jose Mercury News designer Martin Gee without Robb Montgomery posting these photos documenting the impact of a layoff. (He posted them in his own blog, but I stumbled across them over in the Editor's Blog, where the comments get interesting too.

Of course, I picked up especially on the part of depressed journalists.

Which reminds me - have you seen the map created by Erica Smith in her PaperCuts blog. Her Google map mashup includes information about each layoff/buyout/etc. You can see the 2,185 layoffs of 2007 or the 1,171 for 2008 map. I've been meaning to mention it for weeks now,thanks to Charles Apple, who has a blog over on Montgomery's Visual Editors site, interviewed her in February.

Mmmm. So what are all those laid off, bought out journalists doing? That's one of the new things I'm collecting