The end of CommonVoice.com as we know it
April 20, 2005
I am at the beginning of a pathway to a dream.
When I first started The Common Voice, I had hoped to see its influence spread beyond just South Carolina. Of course, the task seemed daunting and over the years I have continued to put this dream on the back burner. Some events that happened recently helped move the pot to the front. I figured now is the time to turn the knob up at least medium high.
This will lead to an end of The Common Voice as we now know it. Soon you will begin to notice changes creeping into the way the site operates. This pathway I have set out on may lead to my dream of seeing the site Ė or I should say the mission of the site Ė expand to an ever-growing audience. Then again, it may lead to a swamp that bogs it down. Still, there is no way to find out what is at the end except to take that first step.
I have been working behind the scenes to create an application that will allow for many mini-CommonVoice.coms. Specifically, I have created the system to allow for state specific websites using all of the functionality of CommonVoice.com. These aren't just sections underneath the CommonVoice.com domain - they are actual stand-alone sites with their own URLs, administration and traffic tracking.
I want to "give away" these sites. Of course, the first out of the gate is the South Carolina site. I am not ready yet to give out the URL publicly, but I will say that whoever gets this site will be hitting the ground running!
These sites will be headed by a Managing Editor. This editor will have full control of the web based administrative functions of the site. I emphasize the fact that it is all web based. No "technogeeks" needed. The site is very easy to manage. I have worked hard to make it as simple for these editors as possible. Also, the site is passively managed. The site has a life of its own and content is created whether the editor is involved or not. However, the editor has the ability to step in and modify any portions of the site that go outside the editorial guidelines. Translation: you donít have to spend a lot of time managing the site.
Of course, I will remain the Executive Editor. I will have override power over each of these sites. However, I want to spend the time I have normally spent doing much of the state stuff to focus on expanding The Common Voice as a national presence and also devote some time to creating new functions to make available to my managing editors.
What type of people am I looking for to take the editor role? Again, great technical skills are not needed. The ability to write would be an advantage, but not absolutely necessary. What is more needed are people who have a sincere interest in the state in which they live. A willingness to make contact with sources of content would be important. An inquiring mind would be a definite plus. Then perhaps hardest of all is a belief in the CommonVoice.com mission of allowing divergent voices. I also want to have someone who shares my vision to see each of these sites grow. I have no doubt that a person willing to take ownership and promote one of these sites will be successful.
What is the catch? Only two things come to mind.
1. Ultimate control goes to the executive editor. If I see an editor is taking the site in a direction divergent from the CommonVoice.com mission, I'll pull the plug.
2. While the managing editor will have control of certain areas of the site for ad sales, the executive editor reserves other areas for his control of ad placement.
1. This is a great opportunity to get involved! Through CommonVoice.com I have had the opportunity to meet people of influence that I never would have been able to meet otherwise. If you are willing to work to make your site an opinion leader, then you will see doors open for you.
2. It costs you nothing but your time - and maybe your sanity! There is no fee that must be paid to be involved. Zip. Zero. Nada.
3. It could actually make you some money. This isn't the primary reason for becoming an editor. However, the possibility is very real. The is a completely web based ad control system built into these sites. The managing editors can easily add both text and image ads to display on the site. They can set the rates and control display.
Why am I doing this?
1. The Common Voice has always been like a child to me. Of course, you always want to see your children grow. I am excited to see this new injection of energy into the site and hope to look back in the years to come and see a network that spreads across the country. It would be neat to look at it all and say, "Hey, I started that!"
2. I have devoted hundreds of hours over the years to create this site. It has been fun, but I look back and realize that I donít have much in the way of physical things to show for the time I spent. This is an opportunity to realize some return on my investment. By broadening the base of users, I will help increase traffic to the CommonVoice.com network. This increased traffic will lead to increased ad revenue. If I can even get 25 of these sites up and successful, I will realize a modest return.
Interested? Contact me. Maybe you aren't interested but you know someone who would like to get involved in walking this path with me - it doesn't matter what state they live in. Tell them about this opportunity. I'm looking for a few good editors!