So this has been one of those month’s in life, where the photo to my left, is the best way to explain it. Although I had plans for it to be a lot better than it has turned out, I can’t complain in the fact that it could be A LOT worse than it has been.
As the Owner and Editor and Chief of our organization as well as a former Business Consultant, I always get a lot of questions as to how to handle staff members, staffing issues and insane situations that are unknown. Although I don’t like to give all my secrets away for free, I do believe there are somethings I would like to share if you are reading and are planning on an expansion or now works with people and/or technology in a geeky fashion.
You can be the best coder in the word, but it’s useless, if you are bouncing from one computer to another and they don’t save everything. — This past month, my master laptop died, and spent about three weeks in repairs. Now it’s working well now, but it was really hard to try to code on things that don’t have the proper technology you need to get things done. Now I’m back up and running, but it’s been a pain to catch up to the point where I have to postpone our move to the “Alpha” site as I so call it. Which works out since most of our staff is not super well versed in WordPress, so I can get them moving and grooving till upgrade time. Lesson? Don’t try to push forward unless you really know that you can do so without the tools that you need. Sometimes, it’s just better to work things out and wait.
USE YOUR EDITORS.. Just don’t abuse them — One of the thing’s I’ve learned, is that if you do not use your editors, they are just going to sit there and wait for you. And while sometimes that’s a good thing, cause they are giving you the time you need to get it together, I wish I had put my editors to work a little sooner to help build the organization along with me. Big lesson learned, and will be working on that in the months to come.
WHEN HIRING: Be upfront and honest. Don’t mislead anyone. — I think the best thing I ever did when I put my posting up and started getting responses for writing positions, is that explained in great detail what I was looking for, not looking for, how much we paid, what we are hiring for and how to continue in the process. As much as I wish I could give every writer an opportunity to work full-time and be a professional geek, the blog is in a place where we aren’t broke, but we don’t have full-time staffers. In this economy, although many people are just willing to settle for that, I know that there are others who have had to pass and move to a full-time job. I’ve had some applicants deny the job only because they needed something full-time. And that’s okay, I would rather have people here for the right reasons, not for the wrong ones.
WHEN HIRING: Although it may piss you off, if they go through the process, offer them a place, and they decline it. Let them go. Same goes for if they accept the offer and then take it back later on. This is one thing that really KILLED me about hiring writers. I mean, why go through all the work if you aren’t going to stay committed? I understand, that many times life happens, or something else has come up.. But if you are just applying to apply, that’s irritating and a waste of time. At mid-month, I had 12 writers accepted, but as of our on boarding day, I’m only officially adding 5 to my writing team. So you just have to accept, that you can do everything right, but you cannot control your writers. (As much as you wish you could.)
WHEN DEALING WITH TECH STUFF: Be ready to do battle if companies who you employ services with, fall short or don’t deliver. When there’s money on the line, there’s no excuse and no BS you should have to take. One of the other things that have hindered our progress this month is the fact that we were planning on going into a private server, for our writers as well as getting the room we needed to grow 2012 plans into. The problem with this, was that the first chance our new server got, it failed, and didn’t back up any of our work. Furthermore, when working with the company to get the issue resolved, they gave me the worst time and runaround. Renting a server is NOT CHEAP, and if they aren’t going to do anything for you and your business, get rid of them right away. Now we’re looking at a few companies to grow our business with :)..
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Share your struggles. Whether with your editors, writers, an outside colleague, whomever, but don’t let your stress sit on you. If you can’t share it, then at least make sure you set sometime for something that takes your mind off things. One thing that I refused to give up (and still do) is my love for gaming. So I became the head of my local Pathfinder Society and became a GM for Pathfinder once a week. It’s been almost a life saver. Between homework, classes, managing editors, writers, advertisers, and my insane boss at my other job, it’s been a real adventure. But to be able to take sometime off and just for a little while do something geeky, comes as a relief.
Last week, while still stressing about our server mishap in the last point, I went to dinner with our Senior Editor Chuck Milo and we went to see a local viewing of Much Ado About Nothing. As a Shakespeare buff, it was so wonderful and refreshing to get away from stressing about the server and hang out with a fellow Shakespearean buff. Although we did not get to play our Cthulhu Dice game that I bought, I have plans to do that for a little while sometime next week before I head off to Celesti-Con.
So there, you have the confessions of a Geeky Editor in Chief. I don’t write this to discourage anyone, but I’ve always made a commitment to telling it “like it is” and not sugar-coating anything. Something you’ll notice as I confess more and more in the coming months. On Sunday, we’ll be talking about our new and upcoming plans and adventures to the organization, but I am very hopeful and excited about where the blog intends to grow in the next few months. It is my hope, that you all stay tuned, and enjoy the show!
A random fun photo from our adventures this month:
See you all next time!
Editor in Chief