State of the Site

The state of the site is good! Traffic is steady, the email list is approaching 5,000 subscribers, and advertiser interest remains strong enough that I’m able to keep raising the rates. But I’m starting to think about a way out.

I used to call Tribeca Citizen a jobby—the time commitment of a job, the revenue of a hobby—but it has grown into a legitimate business. And it has certainly shown how much this neighborhood values being in the know. The time is approaching, however, for me to do something else. I don’t know when that will be, and given the way this site has progressed, there’s a fair chance nothing will happen anytime soon. So don’t panic just yet.

The challenge is to find someone to take over. It could be another neighborhood site looking to branch out—I still think it could work—or a larger media company coveting this rich, engaged audience. Much of the editorial value is in the institutional knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years, so a hand-off would ideally happen sooner than later, in order for me to be part of the team for as long as possible. As much as I like to think the tone of my writing is integral to Tribeca Citizen’s appeal, the site ultimately thrives because of quality of the information—which someone else can clearly gather, while bringing his or her own style to it. Maybe that’s you…?

By all means, please pass this along to anyone you think might be tempted.

19 Comments

  1. Eric, good writers are thin on the ground. You have a special voice and that can’t be replicated. Sure, someone can take over the site, but it won’t be the same. You will be missed. So, can’t we think of a good compromise? A weekly column? Some stringers to lighten the burden?

    Whatever you decide, good luck and Many Thanks.

  2. You do a great job with this! Amazing how far it’s come. And, yes, your institutional knowledge and voice are key elements in TC’s value. Hope you don’t pass the torch too soon. It’s an important source of local information for me.

  3. I was just thinking of suggesting a new column for you, and now I have to digest the news that the site may be no more! Your voice will be missed.

    PS My suggestion is for a Tribeca Citizen of the Month or Tribeca Citizens Who Rock along the lines of the profile of the WF security guard. The crossing guard at Church for the Worth Street construction made me think of it. He’s so friendly!

  4. *I*R*R*E*P*L*A*C*A*B*L*E*

  5. Will be a very sad day when/if you decide to step away. I certainly hope that doesn’t include you leaving NYC as well.

  6. I would miss this site so much, but I can’t begrudge you if you wish to move on.

  7. Why not simply charge a subscription to make it a job instead of a jobby ? If you sell inevitably who ever buys it will do the same.

    • Adding a paywall isn’t actually simple; readers would hate it; and there’s little precedent for it at the hyperlocal level. Also, it strikes me as a bit much to charge for subscriptions *and* include advertising, but the latter is far more lucrative than the former could ever be.

      • For what it’s worth I’d pay a subscription fee to TC without the slightest hesitation, and fully accept the presence of ads as part of the buy-in. I pay for The NY Times online and there are ads, and I’d argue the hyper-local news is of more (not less) value to most on a day-to-day basis. I just ask the ads not becoming to invasive like the ones that are often placed smack in the the middle of a story.

  8. the neighborhood and community are enhanced by your writing and reporting. you are more than the mom & pop storefront that readers are frequently stunned and saddened by the closing – you really are part of the heart of the area, not even bound by the confines of Tribeca…Find a partner, find a writer, find some way to reorganize to bring joy the job! …or too many of us will sob.

  9. Betty hit the nail on the head. You are a special voice. You could find someone to take over, but it would never be with the heart you put into this special site. 5000 subscribers! Incredible. I, for one, am a true testament to the fabulous job you do, not even living in Tribeca.

    Having said all that, I have often wondered how you pulled TC off. I recall jokingly asking you once how you did such a great job with the site plus had a “real” job as well as a relationship. It’s a lot and you should be proud of your incredible accomplishments.

    If you ever choose to make a change, such as one you suggested in your post, I will miss you greatly. Until then, I will enjoy your voice.

  10. Yes, Erik, you and your gifts are nonpareil and sui generis. How auspicious, for all of Tribeca.

  11. This is my favorite site for news above all others. You should be very proud of your accomplishments. Sad to hear this news but understandable and best of luck!

  12. Having lived in other major metropolitan areas (SF and Chicago, both for years), I’ve never come across a site/newsletter anything like TC since moving to Tribeca a year ago. Sure, there are local hubs of larger orgs that regularly churn out community-related news…but as many have stated above, it’s your voice, heart and opinion that is so differentiating and compelling. You speak as one of our own; someone who cares about each of the topics covered on a deeply personal level—and it shines through. Whether writing about another sad closing of a beloved eatery or counting how many trash bags are fluttering in our neighborhood trees, I cannot imagine anyone else having such a vested interest, passion or eloquence.

  13. As indispensable to Tribeca as the Raccoon Lodge was, but all good things come to end. After 13 years in Tribeca I’ve swapped out for Brooklyn, and there’s nothing comparable in the new ‘hood, Tribeca Citizen maintains the sense of community downtown amongst the crazy changes, will be a shame when you move onto pastures new.

  14. E,

    I have to agree with Tammy – get a writer or an assistant to help you with the workload. I have always been amazed by your work and how time-consuming it must be. Please try to find a way to make it work for you… and more selfishly – for us. TC is just too valuable a resource for the neighborhood to lose.

    Also, maybe you can poll subscribers and see who would be willing to go the paywall option. I know I would.

  15. Ditto. Please don’t go. Let’s all help find a way to make it work. I lived for years in the Village and never felt a sense of community the way I have in Tribeca during the ten years I’ve been here, and a huge part of that is due to TC.

  16. I so remember those many years ago when a eager young man leaned over at a boring Community Board meeting and told me he was thinking of starting a Tribeca neighbor hood blog. Great idea! I told him, thinking, it will never happen. Now Tribeca Citizen is a part of our lives, a part of our DNA. My suggestion, Eric, is to get a partner. Share the editorial duties. But retain control so you retain the blogs unique voice. There is only one you.

  17. I’m panicking. I know…you said not to, but…DON’T LEAVE US!!!

Comment: