The New New(ish) Thing - Writer's Digest

The New New(ish) Thing

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The weather in Boston has finally re-arrived at cold, a situation that always feels like it's right around the corner, even in July when I'm writing outside in my sports bra and cut off jean shorts summer bathrobe. As I type, I can almost see my breath, and I have no idea how to work the heating system in my apartment other than yelling at my roommate, who is not here. Perhaps I should rummage for firewood, like they (probably) do in Ansel Adams photos.

Moving on, I get mediabistro.com's Revolving Door newsletter partially because I like to know the gossip about who is moving around in the small, small world of journalism, and partially because I feel like I need to get mediabistro's newsletter, to stay "in the know" when other people ask me about who is moving around in the small, small world of journalism.

Here is a semi-related convo I had this week with my friend Casey:
Me:You see the dude from Valleywag got canned, and is now just writing for Gawker?
Casey: No.
Me: Oh. But that sucks, right?
Casey: (long pause) Is this the reason you called me?

Anyway, more of my point is aimed at the fact that the traditional media world is a sad sight to behold right now. Every newsletter talks of tons and tons of cuts, and most of the quotes sound exactly like this example from the last letter, but with less religious holiday references: "CondeNet, Conde Nast's Internet division, let go "dozens." The parent company also cancelled Christmas."

I had no idea companies could even give a thumbs up or down or holidayz! But in this sad climate, with traditional jobs being hacked and tightened and squeezed down into moderately difficult yoga poses, one has to look on the bright side or one could stay down in that position forever, and that can't be great for your back.

I, for one, realize I'm extremely lucky to have found a writing job with a company that utilizes the World Wide Netz and is actually growing, and also lucky enough to be able to complain about these things in my own blog, and complain about my own pieces in the dying art of the long form magazine. In fact, I probably shouldn't complain ever, but it would be boring if I was always so upbeat and cheerful and full of positive emoticons, and you wouldn't read my work, or my fake poems, or occasionally participate in Commenting Adventures;) And since you asked, my feeling on the changing world of writing and journalism is this: there are always going to be people who love reading, and there will always be people needed to put those words in front of them, and we just need to understand that--like any job-- adapting with the technology is part of the game, baby. More jobs are going to move to the 'Net. Big expensive magazines with big expensive ad buys to fill their pages just won't make sense, like purchasing a super-nice VCR to play your Blu-Ray discs. And the magazines that do stay afloat and remain financially viable will figure out ways to deliver info that people don't want to get on the web, like thoughtful step-back analysis and clever, semi-reported narratives about high school...

And please, don't mistake my candor for some sort of gleeful repositioning. This sucks for me. I love magazines and newspapers and other paper-based readery. I have 14 subscriptions that I know about, and that doesn't count the Blender that gets shoved into my mailbox every so often, piggybacking onto my real mags like an annoying, spoiled preschooler. But just because I love something doesn't mean that I can't see it changing. And it'd be stupid and pointless to just wax on about the good ol' dayz... and not only because I'm 27. I just think we're going through a painful correction, and it's going to get worse before it gets better, but in the end we're all clever, adaptable creatures, and we'll figure something out. And if we don't, we can probably just join Kim Kardashian over at Tom's place and start work on next years pumpkins. After all, I'm pretty sure he mentioned something about sodas and snacks.

Apologies for the elephantine ramble. Drop your name in the Comments to be entered into a drawing for the safe return of my ephemerality.

I find it hard,
to concentrate

Red Hot Chili Peppers