This Q&A marks the end of the short lived and only slightly ignored Q&A series. Are you as sad as I am? I hope so. Anywho, our final subject is the lovely Erica Reitman of Fucked In Park Slope, a blog in which she documents all of the extremely absurd crap that goes on there on a daily basis (see: naked pool party with Marky Markowitz). It kind of makes me wish that I lived there, though there are enough weird shenanigans (see: random person stabbing all the posters of Cher in the Graham Ave subway station with a huge knife) going on in the East Williamsburg/Bushwick border void to keep me entertained for the time being. Check out her thoughts on everything ever after the jump:
How was FIPS established?
I started the blog with a friend of mine two years. We’re both writers living in Park Slope and we couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a blog that addressed all of the crazy stuff that happened in our neighborhood with a sense of humor. Our plan was to start the blog, build up two weeks worth of posts and then start publicizing it, however, 4 hours after our first post went up we got picked up by curbed.com, and all of the sudden we had thousands of readers.
What are you responsible for on a typical day?
I now run the site by myself (with the help of some great staff writers!), so on a typical day I’m sort of responsible for everything: maintaining the site, monitoring the comments, staying on top of relevant news, writing posts, editing posts, assigning stories (if need be), scheduling posts for the following day (and days), dealing with advertisers, monitoring traffic, tweeting, facebooking, etc!
Can you talk a little bit about the entrepreneurial side of blogging?
I think this is the element that most people, unfortunately, miss. I think there is a gigantic misconception about what is actually required to run a successful blog–however long you think it will take, triple that. I also think people tend to get very wrapped up in ADVERTSING, ADVERTISING, ADVERTISING! and expect to immediately start making an income from it. And the truth is I don’t know anyone who is making a full-time living from blogging (and I know a LOT of bloggers). I think a better approach is to build your blog, stuff it to the gills with killer content, build an audience, build a community and then focus on the possibility of advertising. Having said that, there are a number of other killer opps that have come to me from blogging: friends, jobs, teaching positions, a side biz throwing events for singles. And I think that’s mostly because I’ve tried to be open about the resulting “business” from my site as well as think outside the box.
Do you think that this model of so-called “entrepreneurial journalism” is here to stay?
Yes, for sure. The internet has fully democratized the idea of being a “writer.” Years ago, if you wanted to be a writer, you had VERY limited options. These days, if you want to be a writer, all you need is a blog.
Is it difficult balancing editorial duties with other things such as selling ads, etc.?
Uh, yes. HELL YES. It’s difficult balancing it with everything. Here are two posts I did (why blogging sucks/why blogging rules): http://www.fuckedinparkslope.com/home/tag/sucksrules
What advice do you have for anyone going into j-school? What specific tools do you think they need to have/need to master?
Blogging, twitter, facebook, RSS readers, photoshop, photography, videography, and general internet saviness.