You all may have noticed that I’m not cross-posting the full content of the reviews I write for Blogcritics. There are many reasons, not the least of which I am trying to keep this from becoming solely a review blog. What you might not know is that reviews aren’t my only gig with Blogcritics.
I hooked up with Blogcritics in the fall of 2004, not long after I had moved to Washington state. For the first year and a half, my only participation was in occasionally reviewing things that interested me. At some point in the winter of 2006, I convinced someone that I would like to help out more, and I found myself facing the slightly daunting task of assisting with inputing the contents of some 800 email messages into a database.
The way the review materials process works at Blogcritics is that publicists send Eric press releases, which he passes on to the writer’s group. Then, whomever is interested in reviewing the items offered will indicate their interest, and after they’re approved, they contact the publicist. Meanwhile, each review item is added to a database that includes information like the publicist’s contact info, who is reviewing it, and the date the item will be released. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time to do. I estimate that when Eric is working full speed at forwarding press releases, I can spend anywhere from 10-15 hours per week on the database.
Mind you, I’m also trying to write at least one decent review per week, as well as my regular job and life, but apparently that wasn’t enough for me. Sometime last fall, I started taking all of the streaming audio, video, movie stills, and other digital paraphernalia sent to us by the publicists and mashing them together into a daily round-up column. This eventually morphed into its own site within the Blogcritics network, called the BC Goodie Bag. So, in addition to the database work and the reviews, I am now spending another 10-12 hours per week putting that together.
When I have a few spare moments, I’ll also pitch in and help edit some articles that are in the pending queue. Nothing is published on Blogcritics without first being looked over by a member of the volunteer editorial team. It helps keep the quality from sliding down towards naval-gazing, what-I-ate-for-breakfast blogging, which is fine for personal blogs but not so good for an online magazine.
You might be wondering when I find time for things like sleeping. I’m wondering that myself.