Sub-editor adventures: sobriety optional

Disclaimer: Some parts are exaggerated because I try too hard to be funny. So colleagues, please try not to be offended. Really, try.

So it’s been a month since I’ve started. It’s taking some getting used to, especially the getting up really early bits. A typical morning shift goes thus-ly:

6.45am: First alarm clock rings. Grunt and roll over.

6.50am: Second alarm clock rings. Roll over and grab laptop from side of bed. Commence Hunt-for-the-Mouse-Glasses-Power Cable.

6.55-7.00am: Boot laptop. Greet lead sub of the day, find out when it’s my turn to HOLD THE RABID COMMENTERS BACK.

7-8am: Rush to update all my sections. Open up CMS/Newswires/email and fire up Word, TextEdit and image editor.

Hope to God there’s no more than one Bahasa Malaysia piece to sub/upload.

Because if that happens: think a world of pain.

No one should have to translate a lot of copy at 7am in the freaking morning. It is far too early to have to deal with things like “big mess” translated as “kotoran dasyat”. (True and hilarious story)

Start translations by: hitting head many times with a heavy object, preferably a dictionary. It numbs you to the pain.

Convert newswires to house style. Find pretty pictures, resize them and try not to go over 17-18kb a picture. Without the pictures looking like the ones you take drunk in the club with your mobile phone.

8-12pm: Remain cautiously optimistic and mostly sane. Play new game: Upload Hottest Wirepieces of the Day before Chief Editor Beats You to It. If Chief tells you to post something you personally don’t find newsworthy (but we already ran a piece on dancing seals! Last week!), quell your inner annoying pedant and upload it anyway.

SOMETIME, SOMEHOW: Break for lunch. Though the first thing I usually do is put down my laptop and roll over for a quick 5-10 min nap. Staring at computer screens for long periods can cause major eye fatigue/strain. If brother/boyfriend/BFF is around: bully them into buying you food/taking you out for lunch.

1pm: Start on reader’s comments. Lose faith in humanity (again). Wonder at commenters’ insistence of WRITING ALL IN CAPS, not speling rite and ignore of grammer rule.

2-4pm: Keep an eye on the inbox and wires, peep at what other sites are doing when you have time (not often). In last few minutes, let chief sub know if there’s anything of note the next batch of subs. Don’t bother letting them know some of our commenters are evil, evil people. They know that already.

4pm: End of shift, hallelujah. Put down laptop. Roll over. For another nap.

I love my job.

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Captaining a ship, ahoy!

It’s my third day being editorial head for a brandspanking new site.
I am expected to chart a course, editorial-wise and of course, that sounds exciting.
Now, the problem is that I’m somewhat fuzzy about the whole, you know, starting.
First the euphoria: OMG shiny new project, huzzah!
Second: Ooh, wow, I have my own team, double huzzah!
Third: Reality starts sinking in after Meeting Number Eleventy Hundred. Reality dictates that I actually have to be starting something.
There is, first of all, the understanding that we’re supposed to meet a target. XXX unique visitors per day.
Now, to achieve said aim, you have to give people incentives to come, right? Right. Idealist I might be, but I don’t know if I can get people to come on the basis of content alone. Insert notions of shiny, dangly things.
“But this is a community site! Shouldn’t people be getting all hot and bothered and wanting to highlight their issues and grievances?”
The more realistic side of me realises that getting Malaysians off their arses to, you know, do more than yak about their issues at the mamak or coffee shop will take work. I am this close, really, to just Twitter/FB/Linked-In/MySpace spam everyone with ‘EMAIL ME! EMAIL ME!’
Obviously that is not a wise recourse.
So I will have to resort to that time honoured practise: picking other people’s brains. Mine is currently fuzzy and full of pictures of kittens. Loyal minions are off to investigate community grievances so I will, alas, have to wait until they come back. And in the meantime, spam everyone with EMAIL ME!