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Dept. of Catching Up

The Far Less Swozzled Update

I have a rather busy day ahead of me, seeing as how I'm going to get the chance to meet and have coffee with the delightful [personal profile] marence this afternoon, but I wanted to drop by and do at least a couple of things:

I'm sending belated birthday wishes to a longtime friend, once from Chicago and now from Minneapolis, doclnghair, who celebrated on Sept. 21. I hope your year is filled with creative joy, many friends, love, and music.

I also wanted to wish the erudite [personal profile] selenak - world traveller extraordinaire, Beatle fan and scholar, thoughtful television commentator and excellent fic writer - a happy birthday, as of yesterday. I hope the day was excellent; may the coming year be just as fulfilling!

Other things: Here, under the cut to spare those of you who want to avoid [personal profile] kaffyr 's job-related angst, is a description of the meeting that actually sparked my previous post. In describing the meeting to[personal profile] yamx , I managed to encapsulate the entire bad craziness of that little corporate get-together.

Imposition of mandatory daily and weekly story minimums, complete with the declaration that we have to get stories up on the web immediately, "even if it's just a couple of paragraphs - you can expand on it later; we've got to beat Patch!"

This, despite the fact that the ability to put things up on our web site has actually been taken away from our editors and given to another section of the company, one that was created almost certainly to develop a staff of non-union editorial workers to be trained to do the work of us unionized reporters at less pay.

The artificial organizational wall erected in the company's pathological fear of and contempt for its original workforce actually works against its stated desire to become "digital first." Why? Because the extra layers of employees that control web access for our stories are people who don't know our communities and thus don't understand the context and importance of stories, who are also told to put "sponsored" stories (AKA advertorials) high up on the site, who are overworked because they have too many websites to deal with (we publish 33 or so newspapers in 33 or so communities.)

Add to that the fact that the company also imposed an entirely new editorial content platform through which to put things on the web - without getting rid of our platform, since they wanted us separate from editorial control so badly - that we have multiple technical problems as the two operating platforms clunk together and fail to work to get stories from reporter to editor to electronic page.

Oh, and the young people in the artificially separate department (they actually called them "vendors" in our meeting, and I laughed out loud. Told them that they could call them vendors all they wanted, but they were still employees) also use an aggregation algorithm to gather things off the web to put on our community websites. The program is automatic, and they often don't know that it's put weird YouTube things - or year old stories from our own archives - up as breaking news.

*stops, breathes*

Yeah, and one of the main architects of this, the man who called the meeting, came in for about seven minutes, made his "you must do these minimums and post, post, post!" speech - and then almost actually ran for the door, whilst saying "I'm leaving the rest to xxxx (his unfortunate lieutenant editors) if you have any questions."

Weaselly little dictatorial coward.

Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier that Rory and the Doctor arrived about five or six days ago, and The Family Pond is now complete. I plan to bring them to the next set of union negotiations, put them out in front of me, and tell the guys across the table that if they can deal in fantasy scenarios affecting my livelihood, I can provide them with more fulfilling fantasy scenarios.

And that, for the moment, is all.

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/270449.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday to everyone!! Wheee!!

OMG. DEATH. I just...wow...wut?! How did so much stupid fit into one room?! Much less a meeting with a limited number of minutes?! Are these idiots aware of how many obstacles they've created for themselves?! OMG!!


Dude!! So glad Rory and the Doctor arrived safely. And that sounds like a damned good idea to me! Raaarrrghhh...

*squishes you fiercely*
Sep. 29th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
Thanks for the squish, my dear - as for the stupid fitting into one room; a great deal of the active stupid left with the weasel, although the ambient stupid remained in the room, I must confess. Sigh.
Sep. 29th, 2013 01:14 am (UTC)
... and did you just try to call? Our phones are acting up (let's hope I don't get a call from my brother tonight), but it looked as if a call was trying to get through from your neck of the woods ... try tomorrow?
Sep. 29th, 2013 01:21 am (UTC)
Yes'm...I will try again tomorrow!

Sep. 29th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Sep. 28th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
Are they merely trying to recreate Yahoo news? If so they are too late and so doomed to failure.

The advertorial thing is sad. In the local newspaper they indicate (at least in the actual newspaper) that it is ad.
Sep. 29th, 2013 12:59 am (UTC)
In the local newspaper they indicate (at least in the actual newspaper) that it is an ad.

Oh, they do the same thing on our website; the problem is that they place the "sponsored" stories so high up in the newsfeed that anyone coming to our pages could easily be forgiven for looking, deciding there was no actual local content, and back-buttoning the hell out of there.

As for what they're trying to create? They have no idea, sadly.
Sep. 29th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)

I plan to bring them to the next set of union negotiations, put them out in front of me, and tell the guys across the table that if they can deal in fantasy scenarios affecting my livelihood, I can provide them with more fulfilling fantasy scenarios.

Made me laugh my ass off. Sadly, I think that these people are too stupid to get the humour. That is a very WTF sounding meeting and I'm sorry that you had to sit through it and deal with its resulting stupidness.
Sep. 29th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
Heh; glad my planned piece of performance art (or would it be guerrilla theater?) made you laugh. There may be at least one person on the other side who gets it. There's at least one person who won't get it, and who, if its explained to him, will not be amused in the least. He's a consummate jackass, so I really don't give a fuck.
Sep. 29th, 2013 04:29 am (UTC)
Oh my lord, that is an intensely stupid plan. It sounds shitty to everyone involved, poorly planned, poorly executed, not actually a useful way to be a 21st century digital company, and just wrong.

wrong sherlock texting photo wrongsherlocktext.gif

But hooray for tiny Rory and the Doctor arriving to help!
Oct. 1st, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this - may I gank the GIF? It resonates so well with my current workplace. Sigh.

And I've got the Doctor, Rory, Amy and River on my desk, standing in front of an oil-painted copy of Vincent's painting. It's all very comforting. Heh.
Sep. 30th, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
You are, I hope, familiar with the expression "seagull management"?
Fly in, scream at everyone, crap all over everything, and fly away.
Oct. 1st, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Why no, I wasn't familiar with that expression. I do, however, understand it, and will now use it with great accuracy.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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