Sunday, September 4

This Just In: I'm Out

I quit my job as managing editor for a small weekly trade journal. I don't want to wash dirty linen in public, but suffice it to say that I was happy that my financial situation permitted me to make a swift, clean break with a situation in which some fundamental lines got crossed as far as I was concerned.

Now what? My freelance translation and editorial clients have been asking after me quite a bit, so I am not terribly concerned. Our maintenance fee is low and we have no mortgage. We'll have to get new health insurance through the union.

The only shame is that I worked so hard to learn a beat I had only studied tangentially before, and for which I have developed quite an enthusiasm!

I figure I'll continue to keep an eye on it by ... how else? ... blogging and wiking (wikkying? wikification?). I have this whole elaborate system set up that I call my "open source Bloomberg box," including a directory of dated TiddlyWikis that I was using to note, tag and organize the news of the week, often tracking more than 75 items at a time. Very handy. Why not dedicate the same time to blogging the same stuff? I learned to do it quickly, and it seems useful enough: an overview of developments, cross-referenced to a growing wikipedia.

Something to keep the idle hands out of the devil's sweatshop, at any rate. Neuza and I have also been invited to cover Brazil for the Global Voices Online project out of Harvard, which is very exciting!

In the end, I'm happy to have the leisure to blog more! This job was a 60- to 70-hour a week nightmare that left me extremely stressed out. I never even got around to finishing up my long overdue medical checkup. Some of that will come out of pocket, yes, but it's a small price to pay for my sanity.

I suppose, then, that the Red Actor is about done. I've created a category over on The New Market Machines for "financial media" where I and my collaborators if any (let me know if you are interested!) can practice our scathing criticism of ethically challenged reporting ...

So bon voyage, then, and remember: Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to screw you.

26 Comments:

Blogger khatalyst said...

I hardly got a chance to know you, much less say goodbye, but I hope you land softly in a happier situation.

Regarding ethically challenge reporting, I don't think you understand trade press. It's less about about digging up the dirt, than sharing usable information, alerting people to opportunities, sometimes raising the level of discourse in industry issues. There are occasional hot news breaks, but mostly it's what would be called gee-whizzers in the consumer press.

You were battling for integrity in the fraternity newsletter.

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