I have the coolest job in the world. Well, maybe the coolest job on Bainbridge? On a whim, I answered a query on Facebook posted by Inside Bainbridge. I was sitting beside a lake in Maine pondering my upcoming school year when a little post showed up asking if anyone was interested in joining the Inside Bainbridge team. I had been reading the online paper since its inception the year before and was quite impressed with its fond and fearless reporting of the happenings on our Rock. I had known Sarah and Julie since our kids were in kindergarten together 5 years ago, but I had no idea what a couple of talented individuals they were. Their dedication is admirable, and I thought we would make a great team.
Inside Bainbridge has become a community in and of itself. I am proud of the amazing assortment of contributors we have. They run the gamut from a chicken farmer/medical writer to a gerontologist, a landscape designer to a health coach, a philosophical yoga teacher to a dog trainer, a permaculture/economist to an astrologist/radio host, a nature writer to a librarian, animal advocates to a cadre of photographers—truly an impressive collection of smart and talented people. There is never a dull moment! Then, we have Julie and Sarah, wheeling around the island at all hours to get photos of events, to interview officials and residents with something to say. They never take the easy way out, choosing instead to report things that some people may be uncomfortable with. It’s a frustrating and energizing way to live, for very little monetary reward. They have grown an amazing small business in a climate that has quickly come to take them for granted.
We at Inside Bainbridge have chosen to be spokespeople and evangelists for our community. We make a lot of people happy and some people mad because we write what we see. The day-to-day, minute-to-minute heart of IB is three people, just three—no corporation depositing money in our bank accounts on the 1st and the 15th of every month, no 401k, no health insurance. We navigate these waters alone, three of us and our Richard Parker of a newspaper. Our meetings go on for hours with lots of laughing and lots of serious discussions about where we want to take Inside Bainbridge. At times there are tears at the sheer enormity of what we are doing. We pray for a benefactor to take our troubles away. We stubbornly go on because we truly love what we do and the community we do it for.
So, back to my story. I typed a single line onto Facebook: “Hey, what about me?” And that’s how it happened. Julie and Sarah took a huge risk hiring me as their business/sales manager. I am not a natural sales person, but I figured that Inside Bainbridge was such an asset to our community that ads would sell themselves. Did I mention that I am sometimes a bit naive? Well, yes, I am. Anyhoo, it has been a roller coaster of a learning curve. Online advertising is the next great thing, but even with our kicker stats convincing people of that fact is another beast altogether. Online advertising is cheap, easy, flexible, and measurable. It also makes it possible for me to have the coolest job on Bainbridge and work with people I admire and adore. We’re celebrating our second birthday. We’ve reached our terrible 2s, so look out, here we come!
Photos courtesy of emutold and Darren Smith.