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The Way Forward At Patch

I'll tell ya a funny story.  I have been blogging at Patch for a couple of years now, give or take, and I'll be honest, it has been a great experience.  I have a big mouth, and an opinion on just about everything, so it has been a wonderful source for expressing myself.  Others seek therapy, I sign in at Patch.

I think that I have grown from just a guy with an opinion looking for an outlet, to a guy who takes more responsibility with his words, putting a lot more effort into forming my thoughts into a coherent opinion piece.

While I have written blogs about national politics, most of them are about local politics, and that, more than any writing skills I may or may not possess, have drawn whatever readers that I have, to my particular blog. Patch is local, and folks want to read about local news when they come here, so local is what I give them.

Needless to say, I was more than a little dismayed when the Patch shakeup occurred.  Truth be told though, I pretty much saw it coming when the news of the sale to Hale Global broke. Everybody had opinions on why Patch failed, or rather, why Patch was losing money to the point that they needed to make some wholesale changes, and I was one of them.

I have expressed my very blunt opinions on that subject in a blog of my own, as well as the comment boards.  So here is the funny thing.  Tara Tesimu, who I had never heard of until a few days ago, took the time to invite me to have a conversation on the phone with her.  I really didn't know anything about her other than she is a Director of Community Engagement at Patch, and she is located in Chicago.  This was from her Linkedin page.

Well, me being me, and knowing some of the things I have written in the last week or so, I figured it was either a "cease and desist" call, or it was an "I hear ya, we're working hard, so keep coming back call." 

I was putting my money on cease and desist.  So with that in mind, I put on my black cape, practiced my best James Earl Jones voice, and prepared for our conversation.  I would come at her like Darth Vader.  My power would emanate from the dark side of the force.  Light saber at the ready, I dialed the number, and prepared for battle.

What I got, was not a battle at all. What I got was a very good conversation with a very down to earth person. Tara explained to me that my concerns were valid, and in time would be dealt with.  She did not try to sugarcoat anything, and she did not try to gloss over anything as far as how much time it is going to take before things get better.

She reinforced that Patch still wants to make local news a priority, but with the caveat that these things will take time.  Then she challenged me.  She challenged me in the nicest of ways though.  A better way to put it would be that she challenged me in the slickest of ways.

She encouraged me to continue to get my local message out, and gave me some added tools to do just that.  Basically, as a blogger, I have had no control over my blogs getting bounced off the front page by those who use the blog feature as their personal free advertising space.  This is the one thing that angered me when the new platform went online in early 2013.

People who happened to like my blogs, heck, even those who didn't, could never find them.  They were replaced by advertising blogs with absolutely no news value, or opinion.  I have spent a long time railing against this, especially in the last week or so.  So in a 10 minute conversation, Tara basically took my argument away from me.  She made it possible at Plymouth-Canton Patch to once again, be able to have a local voice be the focal point.

It doesn't take any of the sting away from losing our local editors.  It won't be perfect right out of the gate.  She made no promises on how quick local content will be flowing more readily, but she did give me a few tools to keep what local content we can come up with, featured prominently.

So at this point, I can either continue to be part of the problem, or I can decide to be part of the solution.  Anybody that knows me, will know that while I am never shy about pointing out problems, I always step up to be part of the solution.

In giving me the ability to have that solution, Tara was basically challenging me to stay on board, and continue to share.  This Tara is a smart cookie.  She didn't have to issue a direct challenge.  She didn't have to be confrontational.  She took my light saber away from me with a smile on her face.  Heck, she made it seem like it was my idea to hand her the darn thing.

The force is strong in this woman... 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tara May Tesimu February 06, 2014 at 10:06 PM
I think I have been bestowed the greatest compliment a Star Wars fan can offer. I am thrilled! Also, I am so glad we got to talk. Always love getting to know a fellow Michigander. :) I'll be in touch with more info soon. Have a great night!
Charles Hale February 06, 2014 at 11:50 PM
What a great compliment! And so well written. Thank you.
Joanna Schneider February 07, 2014 at 01:09 PM
This post made me happy on so many levels. Thank you for sticking it out alongside us, Bryan!
R Bates Fuell February 08, 2014 at 01:26 PM
Look forward to what is to come....
Bruce Koldys February 08, 2014 at 04:28 PM
Agree 100 percent. Lets rock and roll.....
Bryan Bentley (Editor) February 09, 2014 at 01:53 AM
I look forward to it Bruce!

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