Friday, November 7, 2008

Volunteering again

Only a few days after the election, and I'm already renewing my vow to volunteer as a way to help some groups out and to lead to a job. After successfully doing some writing for Congressman's Jerry McNerney's re-election campaing (which he won), I've committed to helping two groups out, both of which I've written about in the past week or so here.

One is, a Web site focusing on an often overlooked group on the Internet: 40 and older. I wrote a short story for it Thursday about testing for Alzheimer's Disease, and won't get paid for it. I plan to continue writing for it every once in awhile, partly to show that I can write for the Web, but also to hopefully lead to a paying, full-time or part-time job for the site someday. It's a for-profit Internet start-up, so the payoff may not be for a long while. I also hope to start blogging there and become an expert on aging issues.

Another place I'm volunteering is at, a site I've written about before. It's a nonprofit San Francisco Web site that aims to be a news source in the City and Bay Area, and I think is a strong option for the future of journalism. It won't run ads but will survive off grants and donations, much like public television. I'm already blogging there about journalism, as are other members of the group, but the main work I'll do is as an editor. It will likely be similar to the work I did as an assistant metro editor at the Contra Costa Times, and maybe more, so I won't be over my head. But one purpose of volunteering, at least for me, is to grow my skills, so I plan on learning, or trying to learn, how to manage a Web site there and see where that takes me.

That's one great thing about these two sites: Since they're online, I'm forced to learn some online skills that I didn't have in my print days of employment. Also, the Public-Press could end up being a paying, editorial job for me somewhere down the road if the project is successful. I met with the editor on Thursday, and I plan on volunteering at the San Francisco office for a half-day each week. The place is full of Spartans (San Jose State University), so it can't be too bad.

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