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.

10 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.

  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.

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