Most people don't see what happens behind the scenes of any business. They only see or notice the parts that affect them, which in most cases is the end product. When businesses make changes, whether minuscule or gargantuan, the consumer – for the most part – usually doesn't even notice.
The Echo Press made quite a substantial change this past week as we upgraded our website. For you, our readers, it wasn't that big of a deal. There was a period of time when you maybe couldn't access our website or maybe things looked a little funky, but that was about it. It wasn't that big of a deal. Right?
The only difference for you, really, was that the look of the site changed. Which by the way, looks much fresher, cleaner and just all around awesome, in my humble opinion, that is.
But I have to share with you that the change for us – those in the editorial department (news and sports reporters and editors) – was more than substantial, it was downright scary, nerve-wracking, sweat and heart palpitation producing and a major headache inducer.
The new website for us wasn't just about changing the look of it, it was about completely changing how we produce and publish our stories. It was an utterly new system that came with an 87-page user's manual and an almost two-hour training session that could have and probably should have lasted 24-48 hours.
And although the change was and still is hard, what could we do about it other than embrace it. Right?
We had to dive into that manual and read every paragraph typed up by some technologically non-challenged geek and not a nerdy wordsmith reporter. We had to figure out that parent section and child section were not about areas where adults and children gather but instead were the different sections of our website. We had to learn that "top media" and "main media," when referring to placement of photos, were not that closely related and that main media actually meant at the end of an article and not in the main body copy.
We have all learned about, and are learning to embrace this new way of doing things. And the best part, we are doing it together.
For me, that is one of the best parts of working at this newspaper. We are a team. We do things together. We embrace change together. We complain and balk and maybe even whine a little together. When one person discovers a new way of doing things, that person shares it with the rest. When one person is frustrated and can't figure things out, they ask for help and we all pitch in.
We accepted this challenge, this major change together. Producing an award-winning newspaper doesn't happen with just one person or just one department, for that matter. It takes all of us. It even takes, you, our readers. We wouldn't be what we are without all of you, as well as all of our staff members.
Change is going to happen in any business. It's inevitable. As technology changes, as the world changes, as people change, businesses have to make changes; they have to adapt to an ever-changing society. And in doing so, they (meaning us) can either accept it, adapt the best they can and do what it takes to move forward or they can stomp their feet, cross their arms and reject it – like a toddler being told it's time for a nap.
I read a quote once, can't remember who said it, but it read, "In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety."
As much as staying back may sound better because it's what we know and it is safe, secure and we feel more settled, I like to think I am a person who would much rather step forward, take that leap and grow and learn. Yes, even when it is not my choice and the choice of those I work for.
So with the changes that have been made to our website, we do ask for your patience when something isn't working right or not looking right. And please know that although the changes may seem minor on your end, they were nearly life-altering on our end. But also know that because we knew the end product would be better for you, our readers, know that we did it with a smile on our face – although the smile may have been upside down at times.