Skippack Guys: The Interview
Following their purchase of Best of Skippack, a long-standing, prestigious and highly-ranked local website, the I Love Skippack team was interviewed by two journalists from The Reporter, a newspaper with headquarters in Lansdale serving the North Penn, Indian Valley and neighboring communities, including a video taped session at The Reporter community media lab.
The I Love Skippack Team is:
- The Skippack Blogger, AKA Michael Shaw
- Skippack’s Neighborhood Web Guy, AKA Brad DeForest
Stage Fright Baby!
This was the first time the Skippack Blogger faced the press. How would I do? Would I say the right things?
It was reassuring that next to me in the hot seat would be my creative partner-in-crime, Skippack’s Neighborhood Web Guy, Brad DeForest. Still, in front of reporters and a video camera, would our conversation flow as naturally as it does when we are breakfasting at Mal’s American Diner?
A Boost to My Ego and My Soul
My connection with The Reporter goes back almost to the beginning of I Love Skippack. I published my first I Love Skippack blog post on July 29, 2010.
As a man, I want to think I am emotionally self-sufficient, but the truth is, for good or bad, as a sensitive soul, I rely heavily, too heavily, upon approval and affirmation from others. It had been a long time since I had embarked on a creative writing project. Long years in a corporate cubicle had numbed my sensibilities. Was my writing still any good?
In September, 2010, The Reporter accepted me as a writer for their community blogs page. It meant a great deal to me, and provided the psychological fuel I needed to keep writing.
Twitter First, Real Life Second
In recent months my relationship with The Reporter has grown stronger, as the newspaper has increased its emphasis on digital publishing and strengthened its outreach to community bloggers. Through Twitter, I began communicating frequently with two gentleman from The Reporter, Andy Stettler, Community Engagement Editor, and Brian Bingaman, Senior Staff Writer and Digital Media Ninja.
The great thing about social media is that you can start to build a relationship with colleagues before the first meeting, eliminating much of the awkwardness or need for polite restraint that can constrict conversation. Andy and I had not met in person prior to the interview. I had met Brian once, at a First Friday in Skippack, where he was a featured musician. His singing and playing were too beautiful to interrupt with questions about writing or professional collaboration.
Trial by Video or Gathering of Friends?
It wasn’t long before my first press interview seemed more like a gathering of friends than a trial by video. Brian, who asked the questions, had done his homework, and honed in on hey issues that Brad and I were eager to discuss. Andy, behind the flip camera, listened intently and took a sincere interest in what we had to say.
The conversation continued long after the interview, as we brainstormed with Andy about ways The Reporter and I Love Skippack could collaborate. I am hopeful it will continue long into the future. I feel even now the excitement of being at the core of a community that will bring a more powerful online presence to both Skippack and the wider local area.
Beautiful writing, beautiful design, effective promotion for the Skippack community — these are the goals of the Skippack Blogger and Skippack’s Neighborhood Web Guy as we push ahead with I Love Skippack. Collaboration, fellowship and meeting great people like the folks at The Reporter — these are the blessings born of our effort.
And how did the Skippack guys come across in their first-ever press interview? That, dear reader, you will have to judge by watching the video below: