Editor’s Notebook

JO2 Mercer

I was an editor of a 30,000-circulation newspaper at 22 for the Navy on Guam. Publishing online uses many of the old practices and ethics, but the shift from one-way communication model to multiple conversation model means being willing to dismiss old wisdoms.

What I’ve learned about this WordPress Start-up

WordPress is recommended by Mark Briggs in both “Entrepreneurial Journalism” and “Journalism Next” as the most nimble publishing site for beginning and experienced bloggers and small publications.

It is  a nimble software if you a a family of techno-hips and social networking marketing people, as I do. Visual learners can do anything if they are shown.

Tips to date:

  • Prepare all your logos and profile images in advance of registering. It is easer to upload these as you register the first time.
  • Register your domain name for five or ten years. You don’t want to run the risk of building a site, and then next year, forgetting to renew the domain name.
  • Register your domain name, your Facebook name, your Twitter name, your YouTube name and your Google+ name within the same hours of launching. There are bad people on the internet who look for new domain names, then jump in and register all the possibilities on the social network–and then offer to sell you your own domain name in those networks.
  • Make sure you set with your advisers each step of the way to learn the details of putting in plug-ins, etc. If you hire an expert, demand to watch as part of the service fee.
  • If you want an elegant Facebook address, you have to have over 30 “like” clicks, then you go from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veggie-Biking/126704400852989 to https://www.facebook.com/veggiebiking.
  • News today is a conversation. You want to LISTEN, not tell. If someone shares an article, see if they want to contribute to your publication. You want a big a “cocktail party” as possible on your site.
  • Learn to code.
  • Watch people navigate your site. You’ll see quickly what confuses them.
  • Watch people watch your videos you produce. Their body language will tell you if they are too long. Edit them down to the time where attention was lost.
  • Facebook “like” pages reduces one to the same behavior as an Amway peddler. You find yourself begging for likes. Gotta do it with content!
  • If your Facebook has 100 likes, that means you really have 10 readers on Facebook.
  • Most people cannot tell the difference between the Facebook page and the website. And most only comment on the Facebook page. They never get to the website.
  • “One the Media,” an NPR media review show, warns, if you want to make money posting music online, you have to make your money from something other than the music itself. You are attracting readers with value-added products.
  • The real online publishers are the hosting companies, not the producers of the content pages. They can determine the adds and even censor copy without any appeal.


One thought on “Editor’s Notebook

  1. Also, to get at least the first year of your domain for 99 cts or less, Google “Domain Name”. The Google ads will give you special discount codes, which you normally would not get.

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