Many months ago, I decided I really like this place. That this combination of blogging, citizen journalism, and a direct link to traditional media had the right "feel" to it as a means to combine the rapid rate that information spreads over the Internet, with some of the established policies and practices of the old standards.
I decided to make a goal in the new year to write more, to in some small way help to make a difference.
I realized, if I set my mind to it, that an article a day for the year actually seemed like a reasonable rate to achieve... (if I fudge and end up writing more than a single article in a day to catch up or stay ahead of my stated goal).
I have enough notes, experience, and material from the recent past to write many articles from, and several amazing opportunities in the near future to report on news events, reviews, interviews and general information. Those of you familiar with my commenting style can recognize the ability to turn a few paragraphs into short story material with little extra effort.
I was with just that attitude in which I rose this morning, ready to write the second article in an ongoing series I have planned, and been "sitting on" for a while as I consolidated my notes and sought inspiration to drive my writing style.
But for the first time I started to worry about the thought of what happens if I do? What will happen to the other Featured Writer's post in the same category space? It is almost a certainty that I will bump some other writers submission out, and only if I am lucky will it be an article that was already due to expire from the fold.
What if I bump some new writer, who is just moving up to become a Featured Writer for the first time? All of us who have achieved that milestone can well appreciate the thrill of the first time seeing your work "promoted", and that is a feeling I would not wish to take from another rising author.
What if it is some contemporary of mine? Another newsvine member who has also decided to be more proactive with their contributions to this upstart of new media. Every good article that gets front stage raises the overall value and cachet of the 'vine, and may well be one of the things that separates us from all the other "social news sites" that also struggle to set themselves apart from the herd.
What about the "old guard"? Over the last year we have seen many members who started off quite prolifically, and who for one reason or another have cut back on their rate of regular articles. Yet I still look forward to seeing their writing, and their continued visits help to maintain some of the original flavor of the 'vine stew. Along with the continued writing of many of the survivors of the beta period who have continued to form the heart of the "online newsroom".
If my efforts to be a consistent writer bumps (gasp) one of the Newsvine Staff? Can I be fired for that?
I approach this issue with some bemusement, because I realize the answer to the dilemma is:
"If you have something worth publishing, you should do so".
But the problem remains how best to do that, while reducing the harm that my enthusiasm (and hopefully increasing practice) at submitting articles may cause to other Featured Writers.
One solution of course (as in this case) is to simply uncheck the box beside "All of Newsvine" and limit my publication to just those groups in which it seems (to me) most relevant. That satisfies my desired goal of both writing something for the day, and publishing something that I hope is considered a work of quality; while mitigating the potential downside of taking the currently coveted "FW" position away from another worthy contribution.
I don't want to just be the best I can be, I want Newsvine to have a chance to be the best we can be.
Thank you for your time. I now direct you back to your regularly provided news and opinion.
I am still preparing the second part of my series for full publication later today, as it needs to follow the first part in a timely manner; but if I do manage to achieve my goal, I will work against the temptation to monopolize one of the front rider positions all to myself, all the time; and seek new and interesting ways to provide content of quality up, around and through the 'vine.