Today marks my thousandth article written for Digital Journal. I have been contributing to Digital Journal since February of 2009, joining the citizen journalism cause out of growing concern for the arrogance seeping from mainstream media sources and out of a core interest in understanding what "works" in digital news content.
As a content marketing evangelist operating comfortably in the uncomfortable boundaries between Church (editorial) and State (commercial), I have found the Digital Journal experience to be very enlightening.
Many of the basic social media extensions that journalists and audiences take for granted were openly and routinely rejected by establishment journalists when I joined Digital Journal in 2009. Twitter and Facebook were scoffed at by editors and journalists alike, and the commercial teams that frankly made the salaries of editors and journalists possible faced growing frustration as marketers in all categories demanded innovation.
So, I came here to tinker and to learn.
And to this day, I can look any establishment editor in the eye in any news property anywhere in the world and explain to them with conviction what can be accomplished in a modern digital setting and how quickly and efficiently it can be accomplished. When an editor projects that a proposed editorial angle or topic will not be of interest to an audience cross section, regardless of third party research pointing to the prevalence of a given audience, I can bear witness to their inaccuracies through likes and through page views on the angles or topics rejected.
In May of 2011, I received 100,000 page views at Digital Journal. I am proud of this figure, as it mirrored that of a major editorial feature at a major global publication that will remain unnamed. I routinely receive more monthly page views than many established journalists. I do not write this through a smug air, but I record it to illustrate how far citizen journalism has come in a permanent era of fractured media.
My experiences with Digital Journal have helped shaped my thinking on content and on the consumption of content and have confirmed a suspicion that I had held for years but that I would not have known had I not taken the time to log in and work my byline.