Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New (temporary) job duties for me

As is the case for so many folks in these days of tight budgets and low staffing, I've been asked by the boss-folk to pitch in and help out an overstretched colleague. For the next few months, I'm going to be helping our education writer, Ann Doss Helms, cover the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board's struggle to close a budget gap of as much as $100 million for next year. The impact on local schools, neighborhoods, children and families could be tremendous, and the editors rightfully want to make sure the Observer has the manpower to cover it from all angles.

So, I've been asked to put my social networking/online coverage on the back burner for a while. I'll still be hanging out on Facebook and Twitter, of course, both as myself and as one of the Observer's many social networking faces. And I'll still be blogging on social networks and Web 2.0 when I can, so I'd still like to hear your story and blog ideas. I'll have to ask for your patience and understanding if I can't turn them into stories right away -- or can't get to them at all, depending on how things are going with the school board and its budget battles.

One idea I've had for merging social networking with my new duties: I'd like to build a platform for middle and high school kids to share their thoughts about how the budget challenges are affecting their schools and families. It's always tough, obviously, to get teens to flock around any sort of adult-generated social platform. If you've got any thoughts about how we might go about making that happen, I'd be happy to hear 'em!


Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

That's intriguing. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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