Sometimes when I post things on the Blog or Facebook, I really do wonder if anyone reads them. But, the fact is I enjoy writing; it relaxes me. More importantly, writing is a way to examine thoughts, feelings, rants, conceptual ideas, etc that float around in my mind–sometimes it can truly be a mess up there.
Recently I posted a promotion certificate for one of my students on Facebook. Unlike most promotions in the martial arts this one had nothing to do with belts and/or ranks. I simply announced that this individual, Grover Reece, was now the school’s official “Information Officer.” I also made a footnote at the end of the announcement that Spencer Burns would continue being the editor of the blog.
Well, it’s been less than a week since the announcement was made and I’ve already received two inquires about why I need both an “Information Officer,” and an “Editor.” Not that I need to justify/explain anything to anyone, here are the answers.
This was a position I created in the school when I first started teaching. I have a very specific way I want the school to be presented to the public, and it has always been very hard for me to trust others to do the job to my expectations.
Unfortunately, in the past mistakes have been made by others, even those with the best of intentions. I’ve paid for some of these mistakes, by having to face a barrage of negative inflammatory emails and forum posts. Such is life in the age of the Internet.
Back to topic…
Since Grover joined the school, he has taken it upon himself to promote the school in many different ways. No one asked him to, that’s just the sort of person he is. He feels we have something worthwhile to share, and wants others to know that.
During his efforts, he has quickly discovered how hard it is to generate interest among the masses. It’s time consuming, frustrating, and often unrewarding. It’s something that can really break one’s motivation. So far, though he may be flustered, he seems willing to still try.
Now, I’m not saying everything he has done was done in a manner that I would do it. Grover has a lot to learn. A lot. And it’s not easy.
I’m stubborn, very protective of the school, and normally want things done my way. I created the school, and I am ultimately held accountable for any information pertaining to it. This means that Grover has to learn to produce a product that reflects more of the image I’ve tried to create.
This is no easy task, since I no longer teach him directly (he trains with my Shidoshi-ho, Glen Hunt, in San Francisco). This is very evident if you look at the things he has posted, and the way he has promoted the school to date. It’s not bad, just different.
So what are the information officer’s duties?
- He is responsible for any printed, photographed, videotaped information that leaves the school.
- He is responsible for any advertisement related to the school, both in form and content.
- He is responsible for maintaining and updating databases.
- He is responsible for promoting/advertising any school events.
- He is responsible for examining and discovering new ways to market the school, in the most economical way possible.
- He is responsible for answering any inquires about the school that are not directed towards Glen Hunt, Spencer Burns, or myself.
- He is responsible for gathering release and wavier forms at hosted events, as well as collecting and distributing any money collected.
- Here is the fun one: he is responsible for periodically checking the Internet to see if anything is being written in regards to the school. However, he is not required to address such information, nor should he unless instructed to do so.
- He is responsible for maintaining, categorizing, and updating any historical information related to the school.
There are of course other things, but those are the main ones.
While I could continue to do all of these things myself, the honest truth is I’m getting tired of it. It’s simply exhausting and in many ways I’m out of ideas.
I’m hoping that by relinquishing some of these things, I will see Grover brings in some fresh perspectives, and maybe some more modern ways to attract students.
All I can say is – Good Luck Grover.
I write like I talk. I often ramble, get side tracked, and find it hard to get to my point
More often than I would like to admit, I find it hard to express myself clearly or succinctly when I write. I guess my mind doesn’t work that way.
Mix in a dose of bad grammar, run on sentences, misspelled words, and typos, and you have an end product that just isn’t very presentable. More importantly, I write what I feel, often not considering the consequences. One day I must learn to be more tactful.
My editor, Spencer Burns, cleans all these faults up. At least, he does as much as he can without rewriting the whole thing. He makes sure that I appeared to have some actual writing skills, that what I present is factual, and that I use some decorum with addressing things I dislike or those that attack me.
Trust me he has made sure I haven’t put my foot to deeply in my mouth, or made too a big an ass of myself on several occasions.
Though I may not say it often enough, I really appreciate that he does this.
I appreciate his work because I can often imagine his look of frustration when he sees the files I send him. Especially the long photo filled essays that could be written/organized in a much more coherent manner.
Furthermore, Spencer is my editor because his computer/Internet skills are vastly superior to mine, resulting in a much more professional end product.
Lastly, he is my editor for no other reason than that the blog was his idea.