(Just thinking out loud here…)
There’s the multimedia producer version, where I keep learning Flash and web design until I can get myself a job putting together interactive graphics and training others to do it. Extra points here for my video editing skills and general understanding of visual style. Those four years of film school gotta be good for something, eh?
There’s the community editor position, which doesn’t seem to exist in many places, wherein it’s my job to bootstrap the newspaper’s online connections to local bloggers and community members, launch hyperlocal sites comprised mostly of stories written by The People Formerly Known As The Audience, and manage them. This means learning some more web design and coding to modify some existing open source software, but the hard part is getting the community (and the editors) to see your newspaper as a place for participation.
One job I’m pretty sure I could handle today if I had to is more of a project: Design a template for a newspaper’s blogs, get all the disparate blogs created by different departments together on the online front page, create an aggregated page where readers can find links to all the blogs, recent posts, recent comments, and maybe later, blogs from outside the newspaper.
Once that exists, then it’s time to evangelize within the newspaper, get more reporters and editors to blog, create a standard workflow and outline a few elements of a blogging policy. I’m seriously considering a run at this, because it involves a bunch of knowledge I already have, plus more PHP and web design, which I want to keep learning anyway.
I’m also pretty decent at talking people into blogging, which is a plus. The only downside I can see is the possible path-crossing with my thesis, although that’s probably a good thing. On second thought, that’s definitely a good thing.
Way out in right field, there’s the “additional schooling required” career paths: Law School or a Ph.D. in communications. The former results in Ryan-the-First-Amendment-lawyer, and the second results in there being two Dr. Sholins in the house, which I find amusing. Oh, and I’d teach. Both of those are more like 15-years-down-the-line possible tracks, though. Not right now.
Of course, the Billings Gazette is looking for an online editor. Damn, that’s tempting. Do they have winter in Montana? Crap. Maybe they need an online editor in Tulum…
Your comments are welcome on the topic of What Should I Do With My Life For The Next Few Years?