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05 Oct 2009 12:00


About: Feedback wanted: A special query from site founder Ernie Smith

What do you guys want? I (not we, I) love doing this site. But I want to encourage its long-term future. I have a lot of things in the can for the site. But I want to get some thoughts from my readers on how to proceed. Here's a few things on my mind:
  • Building focus Over the last 10 months, the site’s content has been defined by its everything-gets-in atmosphere. It largely focuses on a soft approach to hard news, but the subject matter is very broad otherwise. I’m debating whether it might make sense to have a tighter focus – less sports and music, more hard news and tech. What do you think?
  • Adding new voicesAs some of you might know through my usage of bad puns, dirty jokes and left-field explanations, (I think) I’m a funny guy. But I feel like more variety – and more writers – could strengthen the site. (And yes, I’m asking for resumes.) How would you handle writing news in short bites? Think you could do it on a regular schedule? Think about it.
  • Time vs. qualityIt’s probably obvious, but I spend much of my day trying to make this site happen. It’s lots of work. It’s fun work and I love it. But, I already have a full-time job. And this takes up too much of my life right now. Is it a matter of working smarter vs. working harder? I want to find the right balance. Do you guys have any ideas? Leave a comment.

02 Feb 2009 10:02


About: A bit more about Ernie’s future plans

  • He has a job! A few of you asked, so we’ll answer. Starting today, Ernie will be working at Express, a free daily newspaper published by The Washington Post. It’s his third free daily newspaper in a row, but it’s also the biggest. He’s excited about the opportunity and plans to use his info-breakdown roots as much as he can.
  • What he left behindHe does it with a heavy heart. He wasn’t exactly looking to leave his adopted hometown of Norfolk, Va., but he did it because the opportunity made a lot of sense. He’s done a lot of moving in the last few years, and the last place felt like home. He already misses his favorite coffee shop, Elliot’s Fair Grounds. Sigh.
  • But don’t worry …ShortFormBlog is still a priority of his and he plans to keep it going as long as he can. The nature of it may change slightly – to focus on interest and intrigue over the immediacy of a news cycle – but it’s gonna stick around. He may even bring on more staffers. Stay tuned to this dial …

02 Feb 2009 10:00


About: Ernie starts a new job today. The transition time? Kind of long.

  • 45 number of days Ernie was unemployed before today