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That Patch concept? (Updated 9/23)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by reformedhack, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Yeah, it's not working financially. New York Times reports today that some analysts are urging AOL to close Patch, which has reporters in 850 towns, to free up $160 million and lift the company into profitability.


    Just throwing it out there.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Re: That Patch concept?

    But all those free drinks! Awesome party!
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Re: That Patch concept?

    why i am shocked. just shocked i say.

    didn't see that one coming [/sarcasm]
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Re: That Patch concept?

    Well, to be fair, two parts to that (I came here to post this, too). Yes, they're being urged to unload Patch. But Armstrong sees it as a future growth engine. He might be full of shit, but they're saying the right things....More here:

  5. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Re: That Patch concept?

    ... and it just gets uglier.


    In addition to these regular duties ...

    "Post seven pieces of content a day, with a minimum of four; Edit all copy and photographs; Shoot and edit video for stories and as stand-alone content; Main reporter and writer (with no editor or copyeditor); Main photographer; Contract freelancers and assign stories; Maintain budget (couple grand, more or less) per month; Pay freelancers twice a week; Recruit and edit stable of bloggers; Track all users and comments on site; Acquire guest editor for vacation days (and pay them from my own budget at $100 a day); Post to Facebook and Twitter four to six times a day (twice a day on weekends)"

    … editors now must drum up sales leads by attending local events.

    An employee says lead editors are responsible for all marketing events: not just suggesting them, but executing them. That includes (most of these are requirements; some are just strongly suggested):

    - Writing up a proposal and running it up the food chain for approval

    - Filling out an onerous form that is practically impossible for someone not trained in marketing

    - Setting up the table / booth

    - Paying for the presence at the event (and getting reimbursed)

    - Estimating a number of newsletter subscriptions to be gained from event

    - Signing up people for newsletter subscriptions while at the event

    - Tweeting before, during and after event, about the event

    - Running content on the website before, during and after the event

    - Generating story ideas from the event

    - Estimating cost and number of promotional materials and formally requesting them

    - Bringing along the large Patch banner and other items, such as chairs, barrels for bottled water giveaways, iced tea in hot weather, or coffee urns in cold weather; some places apparently have "prize wheels"

    - Facilitating contests

    - Bringing a large trash can and trash bag, disposing of trash afterward

    - Estimating the number of sales leads to be had from the event

    - Actually gathering the sales leads for the LE's sales person (again, depending on the region, there may be quotas to hit—and, incredibly, the sales person does not have to attend the event

    I am officially fascinated by the amount of abuse people will accept, just to be in the journalism business.
  6. goalmouth

    goalmouth Active Member

    Lessee...Business Insider has been stalking Patch since Day One, and why not? BI founder Henry Blodget hasn't much else to do since he agreed to a lifetime ban from the securities industry to settle fraud charges brought when he was an analyst at Merrill Lynch in 2003.

    As for that sorry-ass excuse of an editor and his ilk who post here, he can skip his annual review since he's succeeded in rising to the level of his own incompetence.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I have always hoped for the best for these folks, but what a mess ...
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    If I'm doing all that, I better be getting invited to one hell of a party in New York.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I wonder if she's still working at Patch.
  10. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Except that entire bit about drumming up sales at local events is not accurate.

    What I'm amazed about is people posting on a site for journalists with so little regard for facts.

    There is plenty to criticize about Patch, but get it right if you are going to do it.
  11. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Why do you find it amazing that people would believe a journalist when said journalist writes an article about his duties?
  12. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    The Patch editor in my town is on Facebook today looking for advice on organizing a polar bear swim on New Year's Day, so I'm wondering if there's something to this story/rant.
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