Print Girl Makes a Major Change

Written By: Kim - Feb• 16•11

I cut my publishing teeth before desktop publishing existed. I know how to use a typesetting machine, pica pole, Xacto knife and a wax machine. Anyone not in the publishing business or under 40 can Google those terms. At my college newspaper, Troy State Tropolitan, we had one Mac computer my senior year. It eventually changed the way we did business — for the better.

I have been extremely loyal to the newspapers I read; faithfully renewing my subscriptions and filling my head with the latest news. I resisted the trend of getting all of my news online. I still liked curling up on the couch over the weekend to read the paper.

© Kriss Kzhurlatowski via stock.xchng

Many newspapers offer a free digital subscription with a print subscription. Because I own an iPad, it is extremely convenient (and doesn’t weigh much) for me to simply carry my iPad with me to work, download the newspaper’s app, log in and read the news. It’s a great way for me to use my time while I ride the commuter train. I often find stories I wish to share on Twitter or LinkedIn, which means if I read the hard copy newspaper, I have to log in online to send it along. This week, I decided this was inefficient — basically touching the same news story twice in order — to share the information.

So began my quick emails to The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times. My fourth paper is local and doesn’t require a log in to read it online. Yes, I still maintain a home delivery because I believe in supporting community newspapers.

The only newspaper that responded with the answer I was looking for was The Washington Times who converted my annual subscription over to digital only (which costs less than the printed version). Both the Post and the Journal gave me the standard: “We are sorry that you want to cancel your subscription, blah, blah, blah.”

I never said I wanted to cancel my subscription. I was simply asking to no longer receive the paper version because I wanted to get my news online only. Don’t people read their emails? Why hasn’t your approach to customer service changed with the times?

This is 2011: the laptop, smart phones and now tablets have revolutionized the way we consume content. Why hasn’t your policy/offer/database/customer service approach changed as well? What in the heck are you waiting for?

So after two more emails to both the Post and the Journal, the Post did offer me a digital-only subscription called e-replica. The Journal still will deliver my paper edition unless I want to cancel my subscription.

Good thing I use newspapers in my garden.

Mom, This One’s for You

Written By: Kim - Jan• 01•11

New Year’s Resolutions come and go. We’ve all said we would commit but failed somewhere during the year to reach the goal. I have made three resolutions for 2011 which I will discuss this week. Failure is not an option.

Marie Wickline and me, Savannah, GA, 1970

My first resolution is why this blog exists: to write more. When journalism chose me as a profession in college, I discovered a passion that I still love to this day. While editing is how I get paid, writing releases something that I have ignored for quite some time. I need another outlet for my creativity.

Thanks to two former colleagues pushed who me to write an editor in chief blog post when the ACC Docket launches monthly, I have rediscovered why I ended up in this profession. I could easily ignore the first colleague who suggested this, but when the second said the same thing in less than two years, I knew it was time to act. Just like the story about the man on the roof during a flood, God only sent rescuers three times. I wasn’t going to wait for the the third sign.

My Mom used to ask me, as my husband @HowardFactor has done on numerous occasions, when I would write a book. I told them both, “when I have enough to say that fills a book and hasn’t already been said before.” It’s not that I am not interested in writing a book, but I have yet to discover something that I could focus on completely for months, perhaps years, before anything would come of it. I am not suggesting that there are not plenty of interesting topics, but writing a book is not speed dating: You don’t move to another subject when the one you are with is boring. My short-term solution was to create this blog.

This blog will be about a myriad of topics. We are all multi-faceted people with at least 10 God-given talents. Why should my blog focus solely on one? I know that the blogging experts will hang me out to dry on this. But just as my Twitter stream is varied, so should my blog topics be. Many folks believe what they do defines them as a person. What I do for a living is not who I am. Discovering what my 10 talents are is up to me and so is sharing them with my community.

What are you doing with the talents God gave you? So, here’s to 2011 and acting on our resolutions. Carpe Diem.