September 2 2010 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Our supportive community exists to help you grow and thrive. Many editors have written me privately to talk about challenges with depression, elderly parents, unsupportive partners, and other issues. Editors lose jobs, lose their homes, and feel at times as if they are losing their minds.
You are NOT ALONE. There is literally no category of issue that I have received "only one message" on. Many editors are challenged with depression. Many editors face very serious budget issues. Many editors are struggling to care for family members.
I know we are trained from birth to shoulder the burden and keep our mouths shut. It is time to retrain ourselves to help each other. I know it's scary - but post in the Editor's Forum. *ONLY* editors can read in there. It is safe. It is private. We can listen and support you. Maybe at some point you will feel strong enough to post in the larger forums and get an even larger pool of support and advice and encouragement, but for now, for that first step, post your situation for the editors alone -
For every editor who writes me, countless other editors are ashamed / nervous about writing and feel overwhelmed. Know that you are NOT ALONE. Post your situation. We are here. We will help.
If you are feeling content and serene and blessed by life, then we would *love* to have you in the Editor Forum, to help support those who are currently less fortunate. By all means if, in the past, you have struggled with depression or other issues, swing by those forums! We would love to have you help show editors that they are not alone in this!,
A main traffic draw of BellaOnline since we began is that we are an "easy to use" site. That is, we don't have flashing graphics, or giant downloads, or flash videos. We have a lot of visitors from South America and Africa and other "dial up" / slow internet access areas who use our information to eat more healthily, create clothing for their families, and learn to improve their lives. This has always been important to us.
As part of that mission, we have traditionally hesitated to include any video / high bandwidth content on our site. We didn't want to exclude those visitors who so desperately need our help.
It is almost 10 years later now, and it may be time for us to look at current technology. Many people in rural areas have access to cell phones and reasonably fast connections. There are libraries or internet cafes in the area that can help them get the information they need. I am still nervous about this, but I think it's worth discussing.
What if we began to allow video content as an *addition* to our regular content? I.e. we would never want to have the only way someone learned how to cook a recipe be to watch the video. I would not want, on my low carb site, to only have a recipe offered in video format. It would mean that all non-video-users were shut out from learning. However, what if I offered *both* options in an article. I gave the recipe, explained it in text, and then *also* offered a video link for those who could see it, to see the activity in motion. That way those would could be helped by the video would see it, and those who could not afford video speed access could still use the text content.
Does that sound like a good compromise to help everyone? Or do you think it would make our slow-speed users feel like they were "missing out" on things? Would they understand we're trying our best to help everyone?
Please respond back with your thoughts!
Weekly Writing Contest - June 2010
Our first June winner is Peter May, our wine editor! Peter's been enjoying wine with us since July 2009. Peter's wine knowledge is fantastic, and he's always willing to answer questions about wine and wineries!
Our second winner in June is Karen Hardison, from our drama movies site! Karen began with us in November 2009 and does an awesome job reviewing movies. Take a look at her review of "Endgame" which talks about apartheid issues in South Africa -
Karen not only gives us the meaning of the movie but also goes into the background and the audience the movie is best suited for. She includes the FTC-required information about where she acquired the movie from. This is definitely what our aim is for in movie reviews! Great job, Karen!
Peter and Karen, please write me with what email address you'd like me to send your $50 gift certificate to, for your weekly (and more!!) writing from March through May!
Lisa Shea, owner
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