whistlesays asks: Ernie! I have so much to say! First - LOVE what you do on Short Form Blog. I get a lot of news from your blog alone sometimes. Second - I had no idea you're MSU alum and TBG alum! I just finished up as Editor in Chief this past year. Thanks for making that website in 2004! Third - love your piece on Medium. Finding paid work is such a huge issue that I'm right in the middle of. Just graduated, moving w/out a job, terrified. But I still have hope! Thanks for bringing up this subject - so needed.
Hey there! Great to hear from you. You know, here’s the thing that was great about The Big Green. When it launched, it was built essentially as a way to give folks who couldn’t get on at the SNews a chance to build bylines. And it worked! We built a pretty good foundation for it—Beth Desy had the foresight to launch it, but Sarah Hunko really laid the foundation to make it thrive and I helped on the design front.
The reason I wrote what I did is that I know it was a scary time for me as a student to not be sure if I’d be able to turn what I did into a career. But fortunately I was able. The best advice I can give is creativity, tenacity, and a willingness to stick your neck out there. SFB started as an effort to push my creative efforts out there, and it worked! For folks looking for a job, something like SFB is what I’d recommend. Not necessarily as a replacement for a job, but as a way to show that you’re a self-starter and can build (and more importantly, finish) things.
Thanks for the kind words about SFB and the Medium piece. It was nice to look back on those days even if they weren’t easy. Please let me know how things are going, and thanks for letting me know TBG was left in good hands!
Take it easy! :) —Ernie @ SFB
EDIT: I meant this to be a private response, but screw it, the advice is good. :)