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My dear gentle readers, as previously hinted at, big changes are soon going to take place around here. If you can see the left sidebar (for some mobile devices, there is no side bar) then you might have noticed a big countdown clock. When that ticks down, this entire website will be changed forever!
Brief interlude as I ramble on about the past for a bit: Blah, blah, blah, it’s been a great 5 years, blah, blah, yeah I’m excited about new changes, blah, blah, blah, no I’m not going to leave/abandon this site, blah, blah, blah, it was so great when that one thing happened, remember? blah, blah, blah, I mean sheesh I wrote more than a million words already, I can barely believe it myself, blah, blah, blah, so yesterday the cat did the cutest thing, blah, blah, blah, of course I disagree with you and here are 50 million facts to prove it, blah, blah, blah, so that’s when the police showed up unexpectedly and completely out of the blue, blah, blah, blah, writing is fun, blah, blah, blah, ok honey I’ll do the dishes when my blog post is done! sheesh ok so where was I? Oh yeah blah, blah, blah…
I’m still firming up some ideas, but there are two core changes I want to make.
1 – Less Me and More You
I strongly feel it’s time to pass the microphone to others, especially after five years of me hogging it the whole time. Of course this is my site, and I have no intention of abandoning the place but I need to pull way back, and remove all the stuff that’s just for/about me and park it somewhere else.
Yah, yah, I hear those faint cheers from the gallery!
The flipside is that to get new voices, we need some new authors. So here’s what I’m proposing:
- If you want to write something here, and
- You have a WordPress account (you can get one for free), and
- don’t expect any money, fame, or pirate treasure, and
- want to write in either English or Romanian then…
let me know by sending me an email. You just need the WordPress account so I can add you as an author. And you read that right, I’m interested in writing in English OR Romanian.
I thought long and hard about whether or not to include stuff in the Romanian language, but I think it’s time to include it. If you only speak English, don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of goodness for you here too.
Now everyone here knows what I write about, but what am I interested in hearing you say? Almost anything, as long as it relates to Romania or Moldova in some way. I’ll take a poem, an essay, a polemic, a jeremiad, a harangue, a boast, a photograph, a drawing, a speech, an investigation, a briefing paper, or just a regular old article. I really want to see/hear what’s on everyone’s minds, and then we’ll just see where it all goes.
2 – A Curated Magazine
Lately I’ve been reading way too many philosophy papers about the current state of the internet (although it is a worthy topic), and I’ve come around to joining the pro-curation school of thought. Without digressing into tautological hair-splitting, it means that I agree that what constitutes Quality on the internet is not quantity, but a carefully filtered list of the “good stuff”.
In even shorter words, if you follow this page on Facebook or me on Twitter than you’ve already seen me experimenting with this. There’s a ton of news and photos and cool blog entries and recipes “printed” every day about Romania, but there’s a) too much for any 1 person to read and b) not all of it is that interesting. My job, so to speak, will be to pick (“curate”) only what I think is the best of the best.
If you’re not interested in following/liking/worshipping me on social media, you can just load this site and glance on the left sidebar, where my Twitter stream is. Right now I’m averaging about 5-6 links per day, sometimes as much as nine, but never more than that. Sometimes they are “hard news” links, sometimes photos, and sometimes blog entries or things like that.
I want to change half this blog into a kind of “magazine” where you get to experience Romania dynamically. I’ve been secretly testing out new site layouts, and I’m working on a good one that works on both mobile and regular computer. Won’t be my (or anyone else’s) original stuff, but everything will be properly attributed.
The Final Picture
So now we have it, a kind of “New Yorker” that gets dynamically “printed” every day, with a combination of curated links and a roundtable of voices in (hopefully) two languages. To use modern marketspeak, the brand is going to be transformed into something akin to “Romania’s living room”, or to use its Romanian name, Sala Pretutindenilor. Kind of like a Starbucks, except not.
I think you get the picture, and if not, you’ll see it unveiled here before long!